'Angels Way' being established across levels

December 17th, 2018
Joined by Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno, left, and general manager Billy Eppler, right, join the team's new manager Brad Ausmus as he puts on a jersey during a news conference Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. The former Tigers skipper replaces Mike Scioscia with plans to boost a big-budget team with no playoff victories since 2009. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Jae C. Hong/AP

ANAHEIM -- General manager Billy Eppler didn't use the exact term, but it's clear he's trying to create a blueprint for the "Angels Way" throughout the organization, as even the club's new Major League coaches will have input on the club's Minor League philosophy and players.

Pitching coach Doug White and hitting coach Jeremy Reed will be tasked with not only helping implement their philosophies at the Major League level but also all the way down to the bottom rung of the Minors, as Eppler wants organizational continuity from the top down.

"Oftentimes you have the Major League team, then you have this kind of moat that gets built around them as they travel around, then you have all your affiliates around that," Eppler said. "What we're trying to do is dry that moat up. We don't want that to exist. Doug is handling our pitching from all the way to the Dominican. Jeremy Reed, who now has evolved to our hitting coach and came through our system, his system is already in place."

So in that sense, Eppler sees his Major League coaches as directors of their department, and they'll have regular conversations with the club's Minor League developmental staff. It also helps that several of the coaches come from a developmental background in the Minors, including assistant hitting coach Shawn Wooten, infield coach Mike Gallego, catching coach Jose Molina and Reed.

White and Reed have already had several meetings with the club's Minor League coaches and instructors about the upcoming season, and they will remain in close contact throughout the year.

"Anything that happens with our players in the Minor Leagues, we'll run it through a particular protocol before that change is allowed to be made," Eppler said. "If you bought a Ferrari and somebody switched the parts on the Ferrari before you drove it, you'd be a little upset, wouldn't you? You want to make sure it went through your best mechanics before they did it. Same philosophy, same mindset."

Eppler also hasn't been afraid to make non-traditional hires, and he values new technology to help both hitters and pitchers in their developmental process. White has a strong background in biomechanics, while the club has hired noted private hitting coaches to their developmental staff such as Ryan Parker, Tyler Jeske and Derek Florko this offseason. The club also employs Ryan Crotin as the director of performance integration, and he has a doctorate in biomechanics as well as a background as a strength coach.

"Understanding how the body moves through time and space and how the kinetic chain works is very important to us," Eppler said. "It's something that we have started from when we got over here. We take how the body moves and behaves and reacts, and the forces applied to the body as it makes different movements, those things are important to us. I think that will allow us to be more proficient in our acquisition and development of our players."