The Los Angeles Angels are projected to win 84 Games by Fangraphs. The consensus #1 pick in Fantasy drafts is Mr. Michael Nelson Trout, but after that there are still some intriguing elements to the LA Angels…
Check out our other team previews here!
|Kole Calhoun OF||19||67||6||0.243|
|Mike Trout OF||36||96||18||0.300|
|Justin Upton OF||28||84||10||0.243|
|Justin Bour 1B||20||65||1||0.246|
|Albert Pujols DH||16||65||1||0.249|
|Andrelton Simmons SS||11||63||13||0.277|
|Johnathan Lucroy C||8||50||1||0.259|
|Zack Cozart 3B||16||50||3||0.250|
|David Fletcher 2B||6||50||9||0.280|
Many Fantasy players are keeping a close eye on Shohei Ohtani’s recovery from Tommy John surgery. While Ohtani won’t pitch this year, he is still projected to get about 400 At bats and club 25 HR while swiping 10 bases. The things to keep in mind for Ohtani are: Where, when, and how is he going to get his rehab in? If Ohtani doesn’t get those 400 AB’s, which player(s) stands to benefit?
Enter, Justin Bour. While most sites have him projected playing approximately 100 games and getting about 390-400 At bats , I think he can collect 20 or more HR while splitting time at DH/1B with Albert Pujols- but with those projections, a full season gives Bour some pretty exciting potential. If the Bour/ Pujols platoon fails, look for left handed hitting prospect Matt Thaiss to get a few plate appearances.
I’d pay careful attention to the Ohtani/Bour/Pujols situation throughout Spring Training.
Looking at the lineup there is some value to be found in guys like Justin Upton, who is slated to hit 3rd in between the aforementioned Trout and Bour, and Upton could give you 30 HR’s.
An interesting story to keep an eye out for during camp comes from Angels beat reporter Rhett Bollinger, who advises us to keep a watch on second base. David Flecther is penciled in to start the season at the position and hit at the bottom of the order but he will be challenged by veteran Tommy La Stella as well as rookie prospect Luis Rengifo.
Zack Cozart is coming off of shoulder surgery and had shown signs of productivity when he hit 24 HRs for the Reds in 2017 and he could flirt with 20 or so again this year – if healthy. Cozart may offer some infield position flexibility as well.
Another name to possibly keep an eye on is prospect Jo Adell, though the 19-year-old will be hard pressed to find at-bats.
The pitching staff for this team is nothing to write home about but I have seen some people showing Andrew Heaney love (our own Rudy Gamble took Heaney in the 11th rd of this year’s LABR draft).
Heaney throws a sinker, curve, change and has a 93 mph fastball . Beyond that, the only guy that intrigues me is Matt Harvey and that’s probably because I like to watch car crashes- but keep in mind that Harvey does have a 95 mph fastball that he mixes in with his slider, curve and change and that could pose some issues for AL hitters seeing him for the first time, until they figure him out, or he combusts on his own.
The addition of Cody Allen to the bullpen helps things, even though Allen has experienced a decrease in velocity and an uptick in homeruns allowed.
If Allen falters, the Halos have a plethora of choices from Cam Bedrosian to a choice of five guys that throw 95+: Ty Buttrey and his 96 mph fastball, Kenyan Middleton (97 mph), Hansel Robles (96 mph), Justin Anderson (97 mph), as well as rookie fireballer Luis Garcia, who boasts 98 mph fire and has been invited to camp.
Most experts are drafting Allen and handcuffing him with Buttrey. Rudy Gamble grabbed Allen after Heaney in the 12th round of LABR and then added Buttrey with his last pick in the draft.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter : @Matt_Striker_ and follow the podcast: @StrikeZonePod
Good luck , be safe, have fun. I’ll see you out there.