Loading... Please wait...

John Dewan's Stat of the Week - Los Angeles Angels

The Angels Are Looking Good

Posted by


It’s only 20 games, but the Los Angeles Angels look like a completely different team from last season’s squad in a couple of important areas.

For one thing, take a look at their chase rate (best known as O-Swing% on FanGraphs). In 2021, the Angels’ chase rate of 33% ranked 25th. To this point in 2022, they rank second at 26%.

This can be explained by a few things. For one, two of the team’s most discerning hitters – Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon – are healthy. They’re each at 21%.

For another, the team’s top chaser among its regulars in 2021, José Iglesias, is now in Colorado. And one other note: a couple of hitters, most notably Taylor Ward, have shown a little more patience than usual within a small sampling of at-bats this season.

Ward’s chase rate is 20%. His rate last season was 29%. He's been a big contributor, with a .509 on-base percentage in 53 plate appearances. His 1.271 OPS is 16 points higher than Trout's. Outfielder Jo Adell’s chase rate is 34%. It was 40% in 2021.

The reduction in chasing seems to have translated into positive results. The Angels rank first in the American League in batting average (.253), on-base percentage (.333) and slugging percentage (.428). They ranked 6th, 9th, and 7th in those stats, respectively, last season.

The Angels also have shown themselves to be a good defensive team in 2022. They rank 3rd in the majors in how often they turn a groundball or bunt into an out (nearly 81% of the time) and 5th in how often they turn a ball hit in the air into an out (just over 71% of the time).

In 2021, they ranked 27th in both out rate on grounders and bunts (72%) and out rate on balls hit in the air (65%).

What’s noteworthy here is that the Angels plan to move David Fletcher to shortstop was thwarted when Fletcher went out with a hip injury after playing five games.

Fletcher’s replacement, Andrew Velazquez, hasn’t hit well at all. But he’s been excellent in the field, recording 5 Good Fielding Plays, tied for the most among shortstops.

We don’t generally advise using 14-game samples as meaningful evaluations, but Velazquez has played good defense at shortstop throughout his career, saving 9 runs in not even a half-season (476 innings).

Pitching-wise, the Angels' numbers look considerably better than last season's, but admittedly, the numbers look better for just about every team. The Angels currently rank 11th in the AL in FIP, after ranking 8th in that stat last season.

But there have been some bright spots, most notably Patrick Sandoval, who has not allowed an earned run and has 20 strikeouts in 15 innings. Newcomers Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen also have ERAs under 3.00 thus far. Four of the team’s five most-used relievers have ERAs under 2.00.

The team’s looked better at the plate and better in the field, and has some bright spots on the pitching staff, but perhaps the best thing that could be said about the Angels start is this:

The Angels are 13-7 and we didn’t even mention Shohei Ohtani (.691 OPS, 4.19 ERA) until the next-to-last sentence of this article.

What will the team be like once he gets going?

Stat of the Week: The Best Defensive Team of the 21st Century

By MARK SIMON We covered the best defensive players of the 21st century in a series of articles (and Twitter polls) the last two weeks. But what about trying to figure out which was the best defensive team? The first season for tracking Defensive Runs Saved was 2003, so we'll use numbers from that year forward to [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: Andrelton Simmons Wins SIS Tournament of Defensive Excellence

By Mark Simon After a week of intense competition in Twitter polls, Andrelton Simmons won the SIS [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: A Surprising Win Shares Leader

By Brian Reiff Everybody loves a good surprise. One example might be winning the lottery. You may claim that it wasn’t a surprise, that you knew playing the birthday of your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate was always going to win, but you’d be lying to yourself. There are also things that are not all that surprising. [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: Bellinger, Trout Battle For Total Runs Lead

By Mark Simon Which player has had the best season in baseball this year? That’s a very tough question to answer right now. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Angels are basically neck-and-neck in Sports Info Solutions' measuring stick, the Total Runs leaderboard. Total Runs is the sum of a player’s Runs Created (using [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: Mike Trout is Even More Amazing

By Jon BeckerIn this, a season of many, many home runs, 162 batters have hit at least 11 home runs.Mike Trout has hit 11 home runs in his last 13 games.Since July 3, the first of 13 games, here’s where Trout ranks among qualified hitters:● HR: 1st, with 11● RBI: 2nd, with 23 (Yuli Gurriel [...]

Read More »

Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates