Jerry Dipoto talks new Angels strategy
Incoming Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto signaled a new direction for the way the team plans to evaluate players Wednesday in an interview on 710 ESPN.
Unlike most major league teams, the Angels haven't viewed on-base percentage as a pre-eminent statistic. Contact hitting and aggressive base running, rather than patience and power, have come to be associated with Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
"Obviously, we need to address the fact that getting on base hasn't been an area of strength," Dipoto said. "Mike and I talked about it. Arte [Moreno], John [Carpino] and I sat down and had a conversation. It's something we want to make a focus."
The Angels finished 11th in the American League with a .313 on-base percentage last season. They were 10th in runs scored. The top four run-scoring teams in the AL last year -- Boston, New York, Texas and Detroit -- also happened to be the four teams with the highest on-base percentages.
The Angels made a push to improve their on-base percentage three winters ago when they signed ultra-patient outfielder Bobby Abreu, but that focus had waned in the past two seasons.
In general, the Angels were less reliant on statistics than most other teams under former GMs Bill Stoneman and Tony Reagins, who preferred to rely on the opinions of their scouts. Dipoto also indicated that dynamic could be about to change.
"I don't think there's one sexy stat that you're going to quantify as the tipping point. There are a variety of different stats, but it's how you interpret them that will lead you toward good decision-making," Dipoto said. "It's trends that are important to me."
The Angels hired Dipoto as their 11th general manager Saturday. He started his tenure during a busy week, the start of free agency. Four Angels players -- first baseman Russell Branyan and pitchers Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney and Horacio Ramirez -- filed for free agency Wednesday, along with 163 other major leaguers.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.