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8 Angels

Author:

IN LIMBO

SCOUT'S TAKE

KEY QUESTION

The clock is ticking on Mike Trout hitting free agency, in 2020, and they're wasting him. This isn't a playoff team with their starting pitching. They signed Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill, but I don't have faith in either guy. And there's no pitching in the pipeline. If you're Trout, why would you stick around?

UNDERRATED

Oakland is really going to miss Jonathan Lucroy. He did a great job with that staff. He lost his power, but commands a staff really well. The Angels got a steal with him, locking him up for two years. He'll really help their pitchers.

ON THE CUSP

What Shohei Ohtani showed us last year was just a glimpse—and it was amazing. What was surprising was how well he keeps his hands back and hits the ball the other way. They're taking their time with him because they don't want to jeopardize his future as a pitcher; they'll have to settle for him hitting 30 homers.

LAST LICKS

Watching Albert Pujols in the field is painful. He's gimpy but he can still hit. It's sad to see.... Brad Ausmus didn't have much success in Detroit, so I'm not sure why they brought him in.

THE PAYOFF PITCH

MIKE TROUT isn't just the best player in baseball—he's making his case for being the best player ever. We have a hard time processing that, always placing sepia-toned superstars above the ones we see in HD. Trout, though, is the best player, through age 26, in history, edging out Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle. Last season Trout set career highs in walks and OBP. He does everything at an elite level—hit, hit for power, run, field, get on base—except throw. He does all this without a hint of controversy, without ever showing the frustration of being a living legend in centerfield for a team that has made the playoffs just once in his eight years. The Angels have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons and will likely make it five, but they're still the team you watch late at night. No matter which team you root for, take a minute this year to watch Trout. He's our Ruth, he's our DiMaggio, he's our Mays, except he may just be better than all of them.

OVER UNDER

81.5

The Angels have won 80 games the last two years. Even with the game's best player and a new manager, there's no reason to expect improvement after an uneventful offseason.

LINEUP

RF Kole Calhoun

.208/19 HR/57 RBI

CF Mike Trout

.312/39 HR/24 SB

LF Justin Upton

.257/30 HR/85 RBI

1B Justin Bour

.227/20 HR/.341 OBP

DH Shohei Ohtani

.285/22 HR/.564 SLG

SS Andrelton Simmons

.292/11 HR/10 SB

3B Zack Cozart

.219/5 HR/.362 SLG

C Jonathan Lucroy

.241/4 HR/.291 OBP

2B David Fletcher

.275/1 HR/.363 SLG

BENCH

1B Albert Pujols

.245/19 HR/64 RBI

IF Tommy La Stella

.266/1 HR/.331 SLG

FANTASY BREAKOUT

TYLER SKAGGS set career highs in innings and starts after flashes of potential. He's ready to take the next step.

ROTATION

LH Andrew Heany

9 W/4.15 ERA/9.0 K9

LH Tyler Skaggs

8 W/4.02 ERA/9.3 K9

RH Matt Harvey

7 W/4.94 ERA/1.30 WHP

RH Trevor Cahill

7 W/3.76 ERA/1.19 WHP

BULLPEN

CL Cody Allen

27 SV/4.70 ERA/10.7 K9

RH Noé Ramirez

4.54 ERA/1.26 WHP/10.3 K9

RH Cam Bedrosian

3.80 ERA/1.39 WHP/8.0 K9

MANAGER

Brad Ausmus