Daily Distractions: Mike Trout’s celebrity grows, Vladimir Guerrero’s quest continues.

Not long ago, fans voted online to determine who is “The Face of Major League Baseball.” The winner, of course, was Ezequiel Astacio Joey Votto.

Wait, you didn’t remember who won the most important bracket of March?

Votto’s victory vindicated his small-market heroics but it couldn’t land him in a national television advertising campaign called “I Play.” The five faces MLB chose for the campaign: David Price, Andrew McCutchen, Robinson Cano, Bryce Harper and Angels outfielder Mike Trout, whose video spot is linked above. (Apologies to the entire Midwest are in order.)

It’s another drop in the growing tide of Trout’s national celebrity. This off-season, he was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine, GQ and Men’s Health. You have to figure that he’ll get more exposure before he gets less. Ryan Seacrest seems to agree.

It’s also a refreshing affirmation that it’s possible to be a star simply by being really good at what you do. Trout isn’t as flashy as Harper, doesn’t play in as large a market as Cano, and hasn’t had as much time to establish himself as Price or McCutchen. He’s just a really good baseball player — maybe the best in the game — albeit one with a .313 on-base percentage (if you want to hold up his three-game sample size from 2013).

Playing in Los Angeles of Anaheim helps, too.

The Angels are playing the Texas Rangers in Arlington in about 10 minutes. Onto the bullet points:

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

What is the Angels’ ‘greatest advantage’ to trading Vernon Wells?

Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells couldn’t be moved easily for a fifth outfielder (Associated Press photo)

 

With six days left before Opening Day, the Angels have 36 players on their 40-man roster. Brad Mills, Bobby Cassevah, Steve Geltz and now Vernon Wells have all left camp one way or another.

That means four players have a way of working their way onto the Angels’ roster, including some who will start the season in the majors. That was by design, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has numbers galore.

Jerry Dipoto

Over the weekend I attended the SABR Analytics Conference in downtown Phoenix. A diverse collection of baseball historians, statheads, fans, front-office types and journalists — a few of us, at least — gathered to form a veritable baseball think tank. Presentations were made minor-league directiors, marketing folks, and even a few players (the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon McCarthy and the San Francisco Giants’ Javier Lopez.)

A handful of us attended Jerry Dipoto‘s discussion of how the Angels use Bloomberg Sports’ all-purpose scouting software. I wrote this piece focusing on how Dipoto tries to communicate the data he gathers to players. As is often the case, I had to leave out a lot.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email