The Process Versus Angels Hitters | The Process Report

The Process Versus Angels Hitters

Meet the Los Angeles Angels hitters…

Jeff Mathis Right .659 .530
Hank Conger* Switch .333 .587
Mark Trumbo* Right .167 .200
Howie Kendrick Right .743 .747
Erick Aybar Switch .704 .702
Maicer Izturis Switch .770 .726
Alberto Callaspo Switch .777 .731
Brandon Wood Right .404 .487
Vernon Wells Right .681 .825
Peter Bourjos* Right .480 .679
Chris Pettit* Right .800 .000
Torii Hunter Right .858 .821
Bobby Abreu Left .746 .851

(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHP:  Conger, Trumbo, Wood, Wells, Bourjos, Abreu
Matchup favors RHP: Izturis, Callaspo, Pettit, Hunter
Matchup is a push: Kendrick, Aybar

(Credit to Chris St. John for the data)

Analysis after the jump…

With all the changes made by the Angels this off-season, we have a lot of new names and a lot of small sample sizes to beware of. Some of the names that have been around like Jeff Mathis and Erick Aybar are not much to worry about (that said look for huge series from both). Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo could cause some match-up problems – Callaspo a switch-hitter and Kendrick reverse-platoon splits. However, in this series the focus is on a trio of veteran: Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Vernon Wells.

Abreu is a classic left-handed hitter with noticeable platoon split – although he somewhat holds his own against southpaws. Even at his advanced age, he can still handle righties and a fastball. With the expanded repertoires of starters Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson, Abreu should see junk, junk, and more junk before Maddon turns to Jake McGee or Cesar Ramos to face him late in the game.

From the right side, Hunter is similar to Abreu in that he does well with the platoon advantage in hand. Hunter against a left-handed pitcher is arguably the Angels’ best weapon in the series. The good news is there should be no reason for him to see one in a normal game setting.

Meanwhile, Hunter is no slouch against right-handers. He has the ability to hit any pitch, but has whiffed on a fair share of breaking balls in recent seasons which plays into the strengths of the Rays’ starters. Should a member of the bullpen need to get him out in a tight spot, Kyle Farnsworth seems like a good choice.

The odd ball in the series is Vernon Wells. Historically, he has hit left-handers well; however, in recent seasons he has shown reverse splits and enjoyed success against like-handed pitchers (same for Howie Kendrick). With two righty starters, the Rays will have to exploit another weakness. For Niemann that means a heavy dose of sliders while Hellickson should be able to use his plus changeup to create some empty swings. Because of the reverse splits and susceptibility to sliders, Jake McGee could be used in the non-traditional LOOGY role.

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