C.J. Wilson: The Underrated Angel

We all know the big pick up the Angels got yesterday: The Machine, Albert Pujols. But the other player the Angels picks up, the story that got dwarfed by the Albert Pujols story- The Angels gave themselves the best rotation in the American League, if not in all of baseball, by picking up C.J. Wilson. The Angels now have three out of the top five starting pitchers in terms of WAR from 2011. In fact, Wilson finished 4th- one spot above the Cy Young contender Jered Weaver.

While Wilson had an atrocious 2011 postseason, Wilson has been a great pitcher in his first two years as a starter. After spending most of his career as a set up reliever, the Texas Rangers decided to make Wilson a starter for the 2010 season. Personally, it seemed like an odd move to me, but this is why the people in Arlington get paid to make these types of decision and I blog about them. Wilson ended up having a great season and finished 8th in the AL in terms of WAR.

In 2010, almost half of his balls thrown were ground balls while striking out 7.5 batters per nine. Admittedly though his walk rate was pretty high (4.10). In 2011 though he dramatically decreased his walk rate down to 2.98, increased his strike out rate to 8.3, lowered his ERA and FIP, and increased his WAR. I really like what CJ Wilson has shown me the past two seasons.

Now it does scare me that he'll be 32 starting next season and giving him five years probably isn't the best long term investment; however, for the short term, I really like this move for the Angels.