Wednesday, March 27, 2013


(Photo by Jeremy Long - jlongphoto.com)

By Robert Cunningham - AngelsWin.com Staff Writer

2013 Outlook: Just in this last week, manager Mike Scioscia declared that Aybar would start the season in the 2-hole in the batting order behind Trout and in front of Pujols. This is a reasonable choice as Erick is a switch-hitter with similar platoon splits vs. LH and RH pitchers. In addition to that, Aybar has been one of the best bunters (forget about the squeeze please!) in the game for the last handful of years and I could easily envision a scenario where Trout gets on base and Aybar moves him over on a continual basis. Quick 1st inning run scoring can really make a dramatic difference for our pitching staff by giving them a level of comfort that comes with grabbing that early lead.

The bunt is not Aybar's only weapon though! He is quite capable at making contact and the hit and run with Trout on base will be a very common occurrence during the season. Although Aybar has never sustained a high OBP over his career he has managed to get on at the league average rate combined with a high contact rate. Aybar is not unlike his "big brother" and mentor Big Daddy Vladdy, where he goes to the plate ready to swing.

Look for Aybar to be a dynamic role player in the Angels lineup while providing gold-glove caliber defense at the shortstop position. He is a clubhouse leader and provides some grit and energy that sometimes leads Erick into "too aggressive" base running mistakes but also, does, force the opposing players to make difficult plays that lead to errors and mistakes that the Angels should be able to take advantage of to win games.

Love to hear what you think!

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