Tag Archives: Pitcher

CJ Wilson Los Angeles Angels Pitcher

CJ Wilson LA Angels

CJ Wilson LA Angels

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pitcher CJ Wilson

Christopher John “CJ” Wilson was born on November 18, 1980 in Newport Beach, CA. He is a professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Attended high school in Fountain Valley in Fountain Valley, CA and attended his college at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating high school, Wilson went undrafted. Instead, he was offered walk-on roles at Division I universities. In the end, he chose to attend Santa Ana Junior College. “Realistically, I was physically behind and couldn’t compete at the D1 level yet. Don Sneddon and his coaching staff at Santa Ana really gave me the chance to work my way into maturity by emphasizing self-discipline. I wanted to be a Major Leaguer and knew I could do it with the right amount of work and focus. ”

After two very productive seasons at Santa Ana JC, the young pitcher got a scholarship offer from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He took the offer and transferred to Fountain Valley believing it would positively impact his chances for the June Draft. His standout performance that year earned him MVP honors in the Orange Empire Conference and California Junior College Co-Player of the Year, thought he still went undrafted.

The sinistral pitcher decided to apply himself in his academics, juggling daily practice while actively making an effort in his passion, film. He took a hefty course load in his major, screenwriting, and attended classes with well known actors, writers, and directors.

He was finally drafted in the 5th round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. He was scouted by Tim Fortugno, who also resided in Huntington Beach. “Tim believed in me and took a chance on me. It was the happiest day of my life. ”

The next few years, Wilson started off by flying through the Minor Leagues, starting the 2001 season in Pulaski of the Appalachian League, afterwards being promoted to Single-A with the Savannah Sand Gnats. He moved through High-A Charlotte (Florida State League) and into Double-A Tulsa (Texas League) by late 2002. His exceptional start was not without faults, however, as he encountered several major obstacles, namely:

2001 – Promoted from rookie ball to low-A ball mid season, then suffered stress fracture in leg.
2002 – From High A ball All-Star to complete game playoff win in AA.
2003 – AA ace to open the season, Tommy John Surgery in August.
2004 – Missed entire season, setbacks from surgery including nerve damage.

Wilson’s real breakthrough season came in 2007 when he became the closer for The Texas Rangers, which “was an absolute dream come true.” He was 11 for 12 in saves in just his second full season in the Majors.

2010 saw Wilson named to the starting rotation. Starting in the majors for the first time since his rookie year, Wilson would prove to be one of the best pitchers in the league and would start the second post-season game for the Rangers. In two seasons as a starter, Wilson compiled a 31-15 record with six complete games, one shutout and a 3.14 ERA (427.1 IP – 149 ER) in 67 starts. His 31 wins are tied for seventh most in the Majors over the last two seasons. For his career, Wilson is 43-35, with six complete games, one shutout, 52 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 325 games (73 starts).

By 2011, Wilson’s talents had helped guide Texas to a second consecutive World Series berth. The lefty made a career-high 34 starts (T1st in MLB) registering a 16-7 record with three complete games, one shutout and a 2.94 ERA (223.1 IP – 73 ER) while walking 74 batters and striking out 206. He finished among A.L. leaders in wins (T4th), strikeouts (6th), ERA (7th) and opponents’ batting average (10th, .232). Wilson’s 2.31 road ERA (121 IP – 31 ER) was the lowest mark in the A.L.

Wilson joined the Angels on the same day Los Angeles agreed to a 10-year, $254 million deal with first baseman Albert Pujols. “It’s crazy, obviously, with Albert going over there,” Wilson told reporters. “It’s a big swing of the balance of power in the West. I thought I was going to make a little bit of difference and he’s obviously going to make a huge one. I mean, nobody saw that coming.”

Currently, Wilson is part of a dynamic pitching foursome that also includes Jered Weaver (the ace), Dan Haren (possibly baseball’s most consistent arm the last seven years) and Ervin Santana (among the most electric in the game).

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Daniel John Haren Los Angeles Angels Pitcher

Daniel Haren Los Angelesa Angels

Daniel Haren Los Angelesa Angels

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Daniel John Haren who is of Irish and Mexican descent was born on September 17, 1980, in Monterey Park, California. He is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Haren graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, CA in 1998. He then attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA on a baseball scholarship. Together with Noah Lowry, a left-handed pitcher just one month younger than Haren, they formed the best starting pitching duo in the West Coast Conference.
Both Haren and Lowry skipped their senior seasons. Lowry was taken in the 1st round o 30th overall by the San Francisco Giants and Haren was taken in the 2nd round on 72nd overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2001 Major League. Haren posted a 2.22 ERA in 17 starts, and Lowry posted a 1.71 ERA in 18 starts.
In 2002, Haren made 28 starts in A-ball for Peoria and Potomac, finishing with a combined ERA of 2.74. He started Double-A Tennessee, but was promoted after eight starts to Triple-A Memphis in 2003. Then he made his major league debut at the age of 22. He showed off his batting skills by hitting the very first pitch he saw for a double. He was out-dueled by Jason Schmidt, who went on to finish second in the National League Cy Young Award voting that year.

In 2004, he was sent back down to AAA Memphis and received a late-season call-up, and made five appearances in the post-season for the Cardinals, including two in the World Series. He was later traded to the Oakland Athletics for Mark Mulder, one of the best pitchers in the American League at the time.

Haren went 14-12 with a 3.73 ERA in his first full season as a major leaguer. He also got the opportunity to pitch against the rival San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series.
Haren broke the top 10 in the American League in the following categories: innings (217-9th place), strikeouts (163-6th place), and complete games (3-4th place) in 2005.

Haren had one of the best seasons among any pitcher in the majors. Haren finished in the top ten in the American League in wins, with 15, strikeouts, with 192, and finished in the top three in the AL in ERA with 3.07 in 2007. He was also selected to start the MLB All Star Game that year and was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Connor Robertson.

2008, he was selected to the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium along with his teammate, Brandon Webb. He has an impressive 3.33 ERA to go along with a 16-8 win-loss record, and a career-high 206 strikeouts.

In 2009, Haren was also selected a 2009 NL All-Star, representing the Diamondbacks along with Justin Upton. He was named # 33 on the Sporting News’ list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball finishing with a record of 14-10, 3.14 ERA, and 223 strikeouts.

In 2010, he joined the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Haren went 5-4 with 75 strikeouts and a 2.87 ERA and posting a .364 batting average and .902 OPS with one home run in 55 at bats.

As for his pitching style is often dubbed a “chess match” by reporters and announcers. Haren usually has a slow pitching delivery, highlighted by a slight pause in the middle of his windup, that he speeds up with runners on base. Haren throws a 91-94 mph fastball with movement. A recently added 90-93 mph two-seam fastball, a sharp split-finger fastball, and a spike curve. Haren has also added and relied more heavily upon an 86-90 mph cut fastball, which he credited for last season’s success. His curveball is just an average offering that he flips over to get ahead early in the count, while his splitter is a plus pitch and his main strikeout weapon.