Scouting the Angels

Speed, aggressiveness and solid pitching make the Angels a dangerous team.

Originally Published: October 2, 2005
By Gary Gillette | ESPN Insider
Editor's Note: Report is updated through the Angels' Division Series victory over the Yankees.

Position players

Bengie Molina, C
Molina's determination and rugged makeup came to the fore in the Division Series, when he went 8-for-18 with three home runs despite being drilled painfully on the elbow in Game 3. An excellent receiver with good hands, Molina is solid overall and a threat against southpaws (.393 BA, 1.077 OPS). While he's nowhere near so good against righties (.656 OPS), he can still hit a mistake over the fence (eight homers in 288 at-bats).
Key stat: Molina doesn't have a cannon, but he threw out almost a third of attempted thieves on the basepaths (20 of 64).

Darin Erstad, 1B
The popular Erstad has above-average range and plus hands, but he certainly isn't hitting enough for a key power position. Erstad hasn't been great versus right-handers (.733 OPS), but he's especially helpless against left-handers (.614). He isn't as fast as he used to be, but he is an aggressive runner who can steal in the right spots.
Key stat: Erstad's .696 2005 OPS is bad enough, but his .597 mark in September was even worse. Erstad went 6-for-20 with three RBIs in the Division Series.

Gary Gillette | email

ESPN.com MLB insider contributor
Gary Gillette, a contributor to MLB Insider on ESPN.com, is the editor of the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, which was published in March by Sterling. Gary can be reached via e-mail at GGillette@247Baseball.com.