Angels Snare Hunter Renfroe, Brewers Fill Up on Pitchers

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports activities Hunter Renfroe was in all probability getting bored with Milwaukee anyway. After spending the primary 4 years of his profession in San Diego, he’ll be part of his fifth workforce in 5 years because the Brewers despatched the 30-year-old outfielder to the Angels in change for pitchers Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero, and Adam Seminaris. Beginning with the Los Angeles aspect of the deal: the Angels know what they’re getting in Renfroe. He’s a bat-first nook outfielder who depends on energy to make up for what he lacks in on-base capacity. After a poor displaying in 2020, he bounced again with a 113 wRC+ in ’21 and posted an almost an identical season in ’22, good for a 124 wRC+ within the harder offensive atmosphere. He hit 60 house runs between the 2 seasons and posted a .315 on base share in each. He’s projected to make $11.2 million in arbitration this yr, then transfer on to one more workforce in 2024 as a free agent.Hunter Renfroe – 2022 Stats, 2023 Steamer ProjectionSeason G PA HR AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ WAR2022 125 522 29 .255 .315 .492 .347 124 2.52023 131 567 30 .241 .305 .470 .334 117 2.0Renfroe owns a profession wRC+ of 136 in opposition to lefties versus 97 in opposition to righties and has usually been seen as a platoon candidate. He improved his wRC+ to 120 in opposition to righties in 2022, nonetheless, after placing up 101 wRC+ in 2021. And whereas his protection isn’t to OAA’s liking, DRS and UZR each are likely to charge him proper round common, and his wonderful arm helps to make up for what he lacks in vary. He’ll slot into the outfield subsequent to Mike Trout and Taylor Ward. Steamer tasks the trio for 10.3 WAR — a giant enchancment after Los Angeles obtained simply 0.3 WAR from its left fielders final yr, good for twenty seventh within the league. Although Steamer expects Renfroe to take a step again subsequent yr, his projection of two.0 WAR would patch a major gap. Because it stands right this moment, the Angels’ RosterResource depth chart exhibits a beginning lineup the place all 9 hitters are projected for a wRC+ of a minimum of 100. I truly began typing out a sentence with the phrases, “If the Angels might get full, wholesome seasons from Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon,” however I didn’t know the best way to end it. That simply looks like asking for an excessive amount of. Nobody is able to pencil them in as contenders for the AL West simply but. (For what it’s value, over the course of Renfroe’s profession, many have famous his uncanny bodily resemblance to Trout. If that is the Angels’ try and create a roster full of Mike Trouts, then they’re off to a reasonably good begin.) After signing free agent Tyler Anderson and buying and selling for Renfroe and shortstop Gio Urshela, the Angels have added roughly $33 million to their 2023 payroll previously week. It presently stands at $192 million, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal appears inclined to imagine that they’re not carried out but. In buying their new left fielder, the Angels traded away three younger pitchers who have been ninth, twenty fifth, and thirty sixth on the workforce’s prospect rankings on The Board. The Angels usually are not precisely dealing from a spot of energy, as their bullpen was value simply 1.7 WAR in 2022, twenty fifth within the league. As for the Brewers, buying and selling away your workforce’s greatest certified hitter just isn’t usually acknowledged as a pathway to success, particularly for a workforce in that hardly missed out on the postseason final yr and wishes each win it may possibly get. In final yr’s write-up of the commerce that introduced Renfroe to Milwaukee, Eric Longenhagen famous that he would assist shore up the lineup in opposition to left-handed pitching. Sadly, the Brewers nonetheless completed twenty second within the league in opposition to lefties in 2022 with a 92 wRC+. We’ll see quickly sufficient whether or not they intend to make use of the cash they saved to search out one other right-handed bat. One risk for the Brewers by way of a alternative is to advertise from inside. In his writeup, Eric assumed Renfroe would persist with the membership in 2023, barring unexpectedly fast improvement from outfield prospects Joe Gray Jr. or Joey Wiemer. Properly, Wiemer was promoted to Triple-A Nashville and posted a 132 wRC+ there during the last 43 video games of the season. He was joined there by Sal Frelick, who put up a 155 wRC+ in his 46 video games. Between incumbent Tyrone Taylor, Wiemer, Frelick, and Esteury Ruiz, whom the membership added within the Josh Hader trade, the Brewers have choices in the event that they’d quite keep away from free company or one other commerce. That appears to be the plan, per Milwaukee basic supervisor Matt Arnold, who advised the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that buying and selling Renfroe “provides plenty of guys alternatives right here. The variety of guys which are within the combine… continues to be to be decided.” He continued, “However we’re enthusiastic about this group and really feel actually good concerning the outfielders we now have going into the 2023 season.” Steamer shares that optimism, although it doesn’t see a bat the caliber of Renfroe’s.Brewers Outfielders – 2023 Steamer ProjectionsParticipant G PA HR AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ WARTyrone Taylor 113 490 19 .233 .292 .420 0.310 99 1.3Esteury Ruiz 83 357 9 .245 .323 .396 0.317 104 1.3Joey Wiemer 34 147 6 .235 .303 .424 0.316 103 0.4Sal Frelick 34 147 3 .276 .337 .414 0.328 111 0.6Arnold also revealed that he anticipated all three pitchers the Brewers acquired to impression the large league roster subsequent season. (As a disclaimer, if it feels like I immediately grew to become a lot smarter within the subsequent part, that’s as a result of Eric shared his notes with me.) Junk is the oldest of the trio at 26. The fitting-hander made two begins and three appearances with the Angels final yr and has two remaining possibility years. Over 73.2 innings at Triple-A, he posted a 4.64 ERA and 4.34 FIP. He sits within the low 90s together with his four-seamer and depends closely on a low-80s slider. Eric places a 50 ranking on each pitches and a 40 on his curveball. Junk’s fastball has 83rd percentile spin, and although that interprets to solely barely above-average rise, it does play greatest up excessive. Alex Eisert additionally wrote about Junk’s penchant for prime sliders just some weeks in the past. He doesn’t get many chases or whiffs however runs a low stroll charge and options 60 command. After ranking him as a 40+ FV prospect final yr, Eric views him as nearer to 40 now. Peguero struggled in 17.1 large league innings, posting a 7.27 ERA and a 5.59 FIP with a 21.1% house run charge on flyballs. The 25-year-old excelled in 44.1 innings with Triple-A Salt Lake, although, placing up a 2.84 ERA and three.34 FIP. Peguero additionally depends on his slider, throwing it 62.7% of the time on the main league stage in 2022. The pitch averages 91 mph, proper on the prime of the leaderboard subsequent to names like Jacob deGrom, Edwin Díaz and Emmanuel Clase. The distinction is that his slider earns whiffs round 30% of the time, whereas theirs are within the 40s and 50s. Peguero’s different pitch is a sinker, and though it sits 95–97 mph, he throws it from a low arm slot, and it ran a 42.3% laborious hit charge this yr. The pitch had a below-average whiff charge of 9.8%, and Eric confirmed that it didn’t get many whiffs within the minors both. The result’s that regardless of all this velocity, Peguero’s strikeout charge was a well-below-average 15.6% in 2022, although it was significantly higher within the minors. Seminaris is 24, and he’s the one one of many three pitchers who hasn’t seen any time within the large leagues. He was promoted twice in 2022, throwing greater than 30 innings every in Excessive-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Seminaris sits 88–89 and tops out at 92. The left-hander has been beginning within the minors and will find yourself as both a back-end starter or a protracted reliever. Though his stroll charge doubled from 5% to 10% as soon as he was promoted to Double-A, Seminaris has a observe report of strike-throwing, and Eric feels assured that it’ll return to earth. He doesn’t have any plus pitches however mixes 5 of them: 58% fastballs (each 4 and two-seam), together with 14% every of sliders, changeups, and curveballs. Eric views all three pitchers as high-probability large leaguers. With Milwaukee’s observe report for pitching improvement, it’s comprehensible that the workforce can be pleased so as to add three depth items and get to work on attempting to unlock one thing further. There are many ifs on either side of this deal. If the Angels are keen to spend much more cash to shore up their bullpen, then there’s no motive not add some extra thump to the lineup. The Brewers might imagine of their younger outfield prospects within the long-term, however they’ll doubtless have to spend the cash they simply saved on a bat in the event that they don’t wish to take a step again in 2023.

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