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4 ANGELS

Author:

OVERALL RANK 11

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP LOS ANGELES

They're better than last year. I think they can get back above .500, but the health of the rotation is the question. The two upgrades they needed to make were second base and leftfield, and they did those.... Danny Espinosa is a true shortstop playing second base. He's got a plus-plus arm and he brings some offense.... Cameron Maybin brings a bit of flair and attitude to Anaheim, which they've been missing, but I don't think he'll hit for the power you'd expect with that long swing.... Mike Trout is a legitimate five-tool guy, but if you notice, he has a pronounced uppercut that you don't see a lot with righthanded hitters. You never see anyone try to bust him up and in, pitch him above the hands, where you might have some success.... I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers Albert Pujols put up last year because basically he was hobbled the whole season. He's still among the top righthanded hitters in the game.... Kole Calhoun is a plus defender with a plus arm, and he gives you great at bats. He's a little more upright with his approach now, trying to tap into more power.... Garrett Richards can be really, really good. But when you've got the delivery he has, throwing across the body so violently, it causes concern. Every time he picks up a ball they'll be holding their breath.... Matt Shoemaker won't light up the radar gun, but he understands how to change speeds and stays away from the middle of the plate.... I like the Martín Maldonado--Carlos Pérez catching tandem, but they'll give you more defense than offense.

MANAGER MIKE SCIOSCIA

18TH SEASON WITH LOS ANGELES

B--T BA OBP SLG WAR

3B YUNEL ESCOBAR

R-R .304 .355 .391 1.6

RF KOLE CALHOUN [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-L .271 .348 .438 3.4

CF MIKE TROUT [TEAM MVP] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .315 .441 .550 10.6

DH ALBERT PUJOLS [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

R-R .268 .323 .457 1.4

1B LUIS VALBUENA [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-R .260 .357 .459 2.6

LF CAMERON MAYBIN [NEW ACQUISITION]

R-R .315 .383 .418 1.9

2B DANNY ESPINOSA [NEW ACQUISITION] [DEFENSIVE STAR]

S-R .209 .306 .378 1.7

SS ANDRELTON SIMMONS [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .281 .324 .366 4.2

C MARTÍN MALDONADO [NEW ACQUISITION]

R-R .202 .332 .351 0.8

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

IF C.J. CRON

R-R .278 .325 .467 2.1

OF BEN REVERE [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-R .217 .260 .300 -1.2

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

RH GARRETT RICHARDS [INJURY RISK]

15--12 3.65 7.6. 1.8 [STATS FROM 2015]

RH RICKY NOLASCO

8--14 4.42 6.6. 1.8

RH MATT SHOEMAKER

9--13 3.88 8.0 2.0

LH TYLER SKAGGS [INJURY RISK] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

5--5 4.30 6.8 0.3 [STATS FROM 2014]

RH JESSE CHAVEZ [NEW ACQUISITION]

7--15 4.18 7.8. 1.6 [STATS FROM 2015]

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH CAM BEDROSIAN [RISING]

1 1.12 11.4. 1.3

RH ANDREW BAILEY

6 5.36 8.5. -0.2

NEW ACQUISITION

STATS FROM 2016

(R) ROOKIE

*STATS FROM 2015

†STATS FROM 2014

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

GM Billy Eppler has done a good job crafting a competitive roster around Mike Trout, despite inheriting the game's worst farm system and a payroll weighed down with $50 million a year in obligations to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, who is now with the Rangers. The Angels are still at least one piece short, but with Trout at his peak, there's every reason for them to play for the present. That means leveraging the few fruits of the recovering farm system, such as dealing OF Jahmai Jones to the White Sox for José Quintana. Quintana would be the Angels' No. 1 starter and push them toward the top of the wild-card pile.

BOTTOM LINE

They've repaired some glaring weaknesses, but too many of their hurlers have injury histories.