2021 Preview: LA Angels

Welcome to the DAYS before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close; we are less than two weeks away from opening day! I am overjoyed! March began the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!

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AL West Team: LA Angels

Last Year Record: 26-34, finished 4th in the AL West

Record x2.7: 70.2-91.8

Vegas Projected: Vegas has the Angels winning 83.5 games. It was only a season ago I boldly predicted the LA v LA world series. That didn't go to plan. However, I think the Angels are much improved and should win close to 90 games and the AL Wildcard.

Impact Departures:

RHP Jacob Barnes(FA), RHP Keynan Middleton(non-tendered), LHP Hoby Milner(non-tendered), RHP Justin Anderson(non-tendered), RHP Hansel Robles(non-tendered), RHP Matt Andriesese(non-tendered), RHP Jose Soriano(Rule 5), RHP Julio Teheran(FA), SS Andrelton Simmons, RHP Jacob Barnes(claimed),

Traded:

RHP Noe Ramirez, RHP Garrett Stallings, RHP Jean Pinto,


Key Arrivals

Free Agent Signings:

SP Jose Quintana- Quintana has thrown 1495IP with a 3.73ERA since the start of his career in 2012. He missed most of last season with the Cubs due to a thumb injury; before that, he had seven straight seasons with 170+IP.

C Kurt Suzuki- Over the past three years, Suzuki has hit .268/.332/.453 in 826 plate appearances between Atlanta and the Nationals. The signing gives the Angels a bat-first option over Max Stassi and Anthony Bemboom. Stassi is a glove-first option.

LHP Alex Claudio- The 29yo ground ball specialist(60.6% career groundball rate) has adjusted well to the new rule system for pitchers as he held right batters to a .268/.348/.390. His groundball rate dropped to 46.6% over 19IP. His career 3.44ERA over 311.2IP since 2014 will be a reliable and durable piece for the Angels pen in 2021.

Via Trade:

-SS Jose Iglesias from the Baltimore Orioles. In 2020 he posted a 1.2WAR with a .373/.400/.556 in 150PA and played in 39G

-RHP Raisel Iglesias from the Cincinnatti Reds- Iglesias turns 31 this season, and in 2020, he posted a 2.74ERA with a 31-5 K/BB ratio and a 41.5% ground ball rate over 23IP.

-RHP Alex Cobb

-RHP Aaron Slegers- he 6-10 Slegers owns a career 4.66ERA over 58IP at the MLB level.

-OF Dexter Fowler- In his time with the Cardinals, the 35yo owned a .233/.334/.408 slash with 49HR, 21SB in 1500PA. "We think there's a lot left in the tank," said GM Perry Minasian of Fowler after the trade.

-INF Jack Mayfield from the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. Mayfield(30) is a quality depth piece defensively as he grades above average at 2B, SS, and 3B. In 112 MLB PA, he holds a poor .268/.325/.472 slash. But in 1224PA in MiLB, he has a .268/.325/.472 slash.

Rule 5 Draft Selections:

RHP Jose Alberto Rivera- The 23yo has played in 3 seasons at the MiLB level. He owns a 3.63ERA, 4.30RA/9, 1.20WHIP, 185K-74BB over 161.1IP in 40 games with 21 starts. Thus far, the Dominican-born pitcher has substantial numbers in his career, a big 6'3" frame that he has yet to grow into as he is listed at 160ILBs. With time and going into an MLB training program, the Angels may have found an essential piece of their pen for many years.

Claims:

INF Robel Garcia- In his work during the 2019 season, he hit .208/.275/.500 with 5HR, 35K in 80PA. The raw power will get him a look during spring training.

OF Brandon Marsh( In AA in 2019, he posted a .300/.383/.428), RHP Chris Rodriguez(77.2IP at the MiLB level has a 4.75ERA). He has a four-pitch mix with a +heater and has commanded to locate the arsenal.

NRI/MiLB signings:

RHP Jesse Chavez- Since 2013 he has a 4.18ERA/4.18FIP and 3.87SIERA in 755.2IP. He has 248 relief appearances in that span as well.

OF Jon Jay- The 36yo Jay has hit .272/.337/.347 in 1258PA since 2018. 2020 was especially tough as he hit .160/.211/.240 in 57PA in Arizona.

INF Phil Gosselin- The 32yo hit .255/.312/.363 with the Phillies in 170PA between 2019-20.

OF Juan Lagares- The 2014 Gold Glove winner carries a career .254/.297/.361 slash line over 2119PA. The experienced glove and bat should prove well for him earning a bench role for the Angels.

RHRP Junior Guerra- In 2020, he owned a 3.04ERA over 23.2IP. Guerra does have experience as both a starter and a reliever. Over his career, the 36yo owns a 3.77ERA/4.55 SIERA.

OF Scott Schebler-From 2016-2018, he provided above-average glovework in RF for the Reds. During those three seasons, he had 1243PA in which he slashed a .248/.323/.457, which is respectable. He had one 30HR season in 2017 and a total of 56HR over those three seasons. If he makes the MLB roster, Schebler figures to be a depth piece for the Angels behind Jo Adell, Mike Trout, Justin Upton and will likely compete with top OF prospect Brandon Marsh.

RHP Jake Faria- Faria showed well back in 2017 when he debuted with 3.43ERA/4.12FIP over 86.2IP. In 2018 he struggled to a 5.40ERA. He worked again in 2019 to a 6.96ERA. He didn't pitch in 2020.

NRI:

RHP Denny Brady, RHP David Daniel, LHP Reid Detmers, RHP Brendan McCurry, RHP Packy Naughton, LHP Thomas Pannone, LHP Dillion Peters, RHP Jake Reed, REP Ben Rown, C Juan Graterol, C Jack Kruger, C Anthony Mulrine, C Keinner Pina, C Harrison Wenson, INF Jeremiah Jackson, INF Jose Rojas, INF Livan Soto, INF Kean Wong, OF Jordyn Adams, OF Brennon Lund

Tendered Contracts:

C Max Stassi, DH/P Shohei Ohtani, RHP Mike Mayers, RHP Felix Pena, SP Dylan Bundy, SP Andrew Heany.

Returning from IL:

RHP Justin Anderson, 2B Franklin Barreto,

Prospect Watch

-All eyes on Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh and when they will get into the OF with the GOAT's everyday roles. The Rookie to watch is OF Brandon Marsh. We all know about Jo Adell, but Marsh showed incredibly well in 2019 at the AA level with a .300/.383/.428 slash line 412PA

-P Jose Quijada, P Gerardo Reyes, P Hector Yan were all optioned to AAA Salt Lake on 3/13

Fantasy Impact Players

Pitchers- Dylan Bundy, Jose Quintana, Shohei Ohtani, Raisel Iglesias

Position- 1B Jared Walsh, 2B David Fletcher, SS Jose Iglesias, 3B Anothy Rendon, OF Mike Trout

Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:

-We could be seeing the last season from DH Albert Pujols(42), his wife alluded to it, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is it for Pujols. The Angels will get $30mil into the budget after Pujols moves on.

-Dexter Fowler, Alex Cobb, Kurt Suzuki will all be over 34 come seasons end.

- Dylan Bundy, Raisel Iglesias, Jose Quintana, Andrew Heaney are also going to be free-agents come seasons end.

Storylines to follow

-With injuries to Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell. Jon Jay, Scott Schebler, and Juan Lagares could and should crack the opening day roster.

-Pitchers Ty Buttrey and Shohei Ohtani have both looked to be past the lows and the downs in their careers. I can see both have great bounce-back seasons.

-The Angels rebound candidates are OF Dexter Fowler and SP Jose Quintana. Fowler will need to show he healthy to hold down a corner OF spot and stay on the field. Quintana will also need to show he can rebound and eat up 170+ innings as he has for the prior seven seasons before 2020.

-The NRI to watch for the Angels is RHRP Junior Guerra. I think Guerra's signing gives the Angels an excellent option for a swingman or if Ohtani misses any time with injury. Guerra had a 3.04ERA over 23.2IP in 2020 and a career 3.77ERA/4.55SIERA.

Bold Predictions

-The Angels breakout star will be DH/SP Shohei Ohtani. It is finally the year. I am calling a breakout in year three. Ohtani is due to get his stardom finally. I predict a -3.25ERA, 150+K to go along with 25+HR, 85+RBI, and show what a true two-way player looks like.

-I think the Angels could compete for the AL title and could make it enjoyable. The 2021 Angels are one of the better teams in recent memory; the Angels have fielded around Mike Trout.

Fact Check

The Angels' home stadium is called Angel Stadium of Anaheim. It has been their home ballpark since 1966. From 1962 to 1965, they played in Chavez Ravine Stadium. During their first season (1961), they played in Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. That Wrigley Field was built by the same people that owned the much more famous Wrigley Field in Chicago.


Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed reviewing and previewing the Angels 2021. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.

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