The Angels have a lot of talent on the books and can easily make an impression in the American League West this season. With three huge pitching talents, the Angels should be in a good position to knock down early season rivals and get in form for bigger games over the next few months. Pitcher Tommy Hanson had big prospects with the Braves and his arrival to the Angels comes with a lot of potential is he returns to his pre-2012 performance.
CJ Wilson is also a great asset for the Angels as he had a career year in 2011. In 2012, though, his numbers were not nearly as stellar as the two hundred plus strikeouts of the previous year. With a strong comeback this season, however, the Angels could easily close with strikes and leave more time for offensive base runs at bat. To this end, the Angels batting lineup looks strong, Mike Trout will continue to lead the charge and is expected to hit at .300 while scoring a good 100 runs before the season is through.
The rest of the batting lineup looks pretty strong as well. The main contenders for the second spot at bat include Mark Trumbo, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos. Trumbo boasts a record of 32 home runs in 2012 and a second place finish is Rookie of the Year the year prior. Aybar is a favorite since he is quick to get on base and doesn’t often strike out. Similarly, Bourjos is fast and can be a good runner, but will need to hit more consistently to earn a higher spot in the lineup. Of course, this is all filler between the Trout/Pujol duo that are sure to clear the air with some 30 home runs apiece.
Albert Pujols has been consistently great for over a decade now and doesn’t look to be coming up short anytime soon. As a career .325 hitter and an expert first baseman, Pujols can, and has been, the difference in a winning game for the Angels and will continue to dazzle this season. Overall, the Angels look good all around, but their top players will need to keep in form and avoid injury to keep the Angels afloat for the next five months of tough competition.
The Angels are in a tough division, but if the trifecta of Wilson, Hanson, and Trout can hold up and perform consistently, the Angels should be in a good spot to keep the runs tallying on the scoreboard. If all goes right for the Halos on defense and they consistently score the runs they are expected to, they could be a very dangerous team this season and a strong playoff contender.
by Ben Vaughn
Ben Vaughn writes on seasonal prospects for the Anaheim Angels as well as fire and wind damage in the greater Los Angeles area