The Los Angeles Angels made a subtle, yet important hire by adding one more name to their development staff as Spring Training gets underway.
The Angels have taken steps forward this offseason and general manager Perry Minasian has proved it by adding a fresh voice in Marcus Thames as their new hitting coach. Around Major League Baseball, teams are bringing in outside help and sending their players to Driveline for a deep performance analysis.
But sometimes the best avenue is to follow the breadcrumbs and bring in those who have directly helped players within the organization. According to Sam Blum of The Athletic, the Angels did that this past week by hiring Trent Woodward:
The Angels hired Trent Woodward as a hitting consultant. Woodward is a hitting coach that outfielder Taylor Ward credits for his breakout season last year. The two worked closely together. Brett Phillips also worked with Woodward this offseason.
Woodward attended college at Fresno State and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 20th round in the 2014 MLB Draft. After four years in the Minor Leagues, he stepped away from his pursuit of reaching the majors and dedicated his time to mastering the art of hitting.
Woodward’s direct work with Ward this past season helped propel the outfielder to the best stretch in his four years at the big league level by batting .347/.459/.686 with a wRC+ of 221 through his first 35 games. On the year he totaled 23 homers, 65 RBI and 73 runs scored in a career-high 135 games.
Ward figures to be a mainstay in the Angels’ lineup moving forward and with the addition of Phillips to an outfield desperately in need of a consistent left-handed bat, Woodward’s magic could be of great value to make that happen.
Angels manager Phil Nevin loves the moves the club has made in preparation for the season
The Angels most notably bolstered their pitching staff with the signings of All-Star starter Tyler Anderson, relievers Carlos Estévez and Matt Moore, and upgraded their lineup and defense with the addition of Brandon Drury, Brett Phillips, Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela.
The aforementioned names join a talented group that already includes the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout, as well as up-and-comers Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Ward, among others. Manager Phil Nevin is happy with the way his club was able to improve its roster.
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