Angel Stadium Park Factors: Hits 99; Runs 92; HRs 84
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: $14 2001: $6 2002: $21 2003: $15
Colon can be one of the most dominant starters in the the game. He is heavily muscled between his waist and knees and uses his legs to drive toward the plate while delivering his explosive high 90s fastball. He has a change and a small curve that he will use at any point in the count to keep hitters honest. There are some who are concerned about Colon's conditioning and weight as well as whether his style of throwing invites injury. His plate command has improved somewhat over the last few years. His physical status notwithstanding, I consider him a rotation anchor.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: $9 2002: $20 2003: $6
Washburn sprained his shoulder last spring and was expected to pitch with some pain early. Whether the shoulder was the reason for his disappointing season is hard to assess. He exceeded 200 innings but he didn't pitch better in the second half than he did before the break. His hit rate increased 11% last year, although it was still respectable; however his K rate dropped 16% and was below par which may be the most telling sign that he wasn't 100%. Washburn relies heavily on his fastball, throwing it to both corners and relying on movement in the zone. He has a breaking pitch and a change that mixes in on occasion. When he's been effective he gets a lot of pop-ups and gets batters to lunge for pitches off the plate, but I've also seen his pitches lack movement and he's gotten hit.
Values ~ 2000: -$1 2001: $10 2002: $20 2003: $5
After Escobar struggled in his closer's role at the start of last season, he decided he wanted to return to starting. His numbers were better after the shift in roles (Hit Rate = .99; K/BB Ratio = 1.94; HR Rate = .074). He throws a mid 90s fastball, splitter, curve and change and when I've seen him has gotten in trouble missing location when trying to overthrow the fastball. When he's wild over the plate, he gets hit.
Values ~ 2000: $4 2001: $3 2002: $14 2003: $0
Ortiz' performance collapsed last year following his solid 2002. His father passed away late in the season following a lengthy bout with emphysema and Ortiz' splits do show a declining performance as the season progressed so it's possible the situation was a distraction. However, there's also a labrum tear and the 30% decline in his K rate from the preceding year could indicate a more serious problem. When healthy, Ortiz throws a mid-90s fastball with effective tailing movement, a slider and a change-up that sinks. Ortiz is working on a slower change-up, believing that there wasn't enough separation in speed between his fastball and change last season.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $7 2003: $0
Lackey has a low 90s fastball and a splitter, He's also supposed to have a slider and change in his repertoire, although I haven't seen them much. I noted last year that Lackey has to keep his pitches down and his failure to do so last year led to a 65% increase in his HR rate. Both times I've seen him pitch, he's left pitches up and has been hit. His ratios otherwise show promise, so there's still a good chance Lackey can deliver good value to owners if he can improve his secondary pitches.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: $15 2002: -$4 2003: -$7
Sele's K rate has declined for four consecutive years (from .91 to .65 to .53 to .51 to .44 last year); consequently, his loss of value was predictable especially upon leaving the pitcher's park at Safeco after the 2001 season. His 2002 season was ended by a torn muscle in his shoulder and surgery and he missed the first part of 2003 as a result. He was not very effective upon his return and did not improve as the season progressed. At his peak, Sele had an outstanding curveball that he needs to throw for strikes to be effective. He is a groundball pitcher and usually maintains a low HR rate. His fastball is in the high 80s with some movement, but if he's behind in the count and has to come in, he becomes hittable. He occasionally adds in a slider.
Values ~ 2000: $20 2001: $29 2002: $30 2003: $22
Percival still delivers heat in the upper 90s when healthy and keeps hitters honest with an effective curve. His ratios last year were more similar to 1999-2000 levels than the more impressive numbers of the last two seasons. At 34, there's a chance he's slipped a notch and he's the subject of trade rumors.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $3 2003: $15
Rodriguez can be dominant. He has a mid-90s fastball, an outstanding slider and developing curve. He followed up his spectacular 2003 postseason, with a very solid first full season. The ratios indicate Rodriguez can still make progress with his ratios by falling behind fewer hitters leading to fewer walks and fewer grooved pitches but as he is, he's a very nice addition to fantasy staffs in deep leagues.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $7 2003: $12
Veteran minor league reliever who finally got a call to the show in 2002 at age 30. I watched him in a brief outing after his call-up. He throws a tailing fastball in the 88-91 range and a hard slider with good movement. He's put up outstanding ratios two years running in a set-up role and, like Rodriguez, should be a good addition to most staffs in deep leagues. Donnelley broke his nose this spring which required surgery; he'll be on the DL for 6-8 weeks.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: $3 2002: $9 2003: $10
Shields has pitched very well the last two years for the Angels out of the pen. In the middle of last season, he was pressed into starting duty and although the numbers weren't as good (3.89 ERA vs. 1.68 in relief; 1.04 hit rate vs. .80 in relief), he didn't embarrass himself. Shields is reputed to have a fastball, slider and change.
Values ~ 2000: $0 2001: $5 2002: $14 2003: $8
Weber's value dropped last year when he didn't repeat 2002's 7 saves due to Percival's return to health. Weber has an odd motion; he brings his hands down from his head to his belt twice during his delivery. He has a sinking fastball that hits about 90 and a slider. He must keep the ball down to be effective since his strikeout rate is below par. While the very good HR rate indicates he was very successful at keeping the ball down, his GB/FB ratio was far less impressive than in 2002 and I'd be a little concerned by that. Very borderline pick.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: $5Gregg was signed last year as a minor league free agent, pitched well at AA/AAA (Hit Rate = .95; K/BB Ratio = 3.65 with a very good .23 walk rate; HR Rate = .064) and gave the Angels some decent innings at the end of the season out of the pen. He gets another chance with Donnelley on the DL. He's said to have an average fastball, slider and splitter. Wait and see.