Mike Trout
It’s always fun to generate and debate lists. We’ll continue with the All-2000 to Present Angels Lineup.
C – Bengie Molina
1B – Albert Pujols
2B – Howie Kendrick
3B – Troy Glaus
SS – Erick Aybar
RF – Vladimir Guerrero
LF – Garret Anderson
CF – Mike Trout
DH – Tim Salmon
SP – Jered Weaver
SP – John Lackey
SP – Ervin Santana
SP – C.J. Wilson
SP – Joe Saunders
Closer – Francisco Rodríguez
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers

Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

The news keeps getting worse dor Kendrys Morales. The slugger’s season is over before it started after it was revealed he will require additional surgery to remove scar tissue in his ankle. All of this on a freak accident while celebrating a walkoff home run. Mark Trumbo will continue to start at first base.
It’s hard to imagine Morales will ever be the same.

When will Kendrys Morales return?
Kendrys Morales’ return from his walkoff home run celebration that abruptly ended his 2010 season will be delayed into the 2011 season as Morales starts the season on the disabled list. Mark Trumbo, who is hitting .340 this spring with five home runs and 13 RBI this spring, will start the year as the Angels’ first basemen. Things will get complicated for the Angels when Morales returns as they will have Morales, Trumbo, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, and Peter Bourjos to occupy first base, designated hitter, and the three outfield spots. Until then, Trumbo is a good cheap power option.
Last year Trumbo hit .301 with 36 HR and 122 RBI for Triple-A Salt Lake.

2009 was a disaster for the New York Mets. It seemed that if something could go wrong, it did. 2010 wasn’t much better for the Mets, but at least David Wright (.283-87-29-103-19) and Jose Reyes (.282-83-11-54-30) rebounded. Now the question is can Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran do the same?
Jason Bay was a disappointment coming over from Boston and posting a forgettable .259-48-6-47-10 line. He was limited to 95 games due to a concussion, similar to Justin Morneau, who also coincidentally hails from Canada.  When he did play, he was mediocre at best, the only saving grace was the double-digit stolen bases.
That doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause. David Wright struggled with the long ball in his first season in CitiPark, but rebounded nicely last year. Perhaps he just has to attack the park differently.  Prior to last year Bay averaged 100.6 runs, 31 HRs, 102.8 RBI, and 11.8 SBs in the five previous seasons so I’m hopeful for a rebound. His ADP, according to Mock Draft Central, is 142 overall and 37th outfielder. He’s a pretty solid option in the 12th round of fantasy drafts.

Beltran is less of a risk based on his ADP of 223 (51st outfielder), but his knees have cost him the better part of two seasons. He hasn’t had fantasy relevance since 2008. Last year Beltran posted a .255-21-7-27-3 line in 64 games. He did end the year on a high note going 25 for 78 (.321) with 12 runs, five HRs, 13 RBI, and two SBs in 78 September at bats. His OPS of .968 was particularly encouraging.
If he can stay healthy, the power and the average could return. I’m not confident that a player with bad knees that’s turning 34 in April will terrorize the basepaths again, but if he can manage 8-10, that would be a nice contribution. His ADP puts him in the 19th round. I say why the heck not take a shot on him there.
I wouldn’t bet the farm that one or both of these former five-tool outfielders returns to form, but I would definitely say they are worth the risk. I realize that Bay could be out for a long time if he suffers another concussion and Beltran’s knees are a risk, but they are calculated risks and worth the gamble.
What are your thoughts on Bay and Beltran?

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Vernon Wells was finally healthy last year and smacked 30+ home runs for the first time since 2006. He finished with a solid .273-79-31-88-6 line. I certainly wouldn’t say at 32 that it would be hard to match those power numbers, but he does have some things working against him.
For starters, he went from a team that lived and died by the long ball. Jose Bautista hit .260 with 54 HRs. Aaron Hill hit .205 with 26 HRs. Adam Lind hit .237 with 23 HRs. Edwin Encarnacion hit .244 with 20 HRs. Lyle Overbay hit .243 with 20 HRs. The Angels don’t rely on the long ball like Toronto does so Wells won’t be swinging for the fences as often.
The Angels scored 74 fewer runs and smacked 102 fewer home runs. Part of it is simply the ball park factor. The Rogers Centre ranked fourth with a 1.358 HR ball park factor while Angel Stadium of Anaheim ranked 23rd with a .825 factor.
Does that mean Vernon Wells will see a dip in his home run total? My guess is yes, but not significantly, and while he declines in HRs, he’ll likely gain in stolen bases.
Wells had just six stolen bases in 2010, but had 17 in 2009 and has been in double-digits in three of the past five seasons. The Angels are much more inclined to turn their baserunners loose having stolen 46 more bases last year.
Wells started off the year on a tear hitting 19 home runs in the first three months. He cooled off in the summer, combining for four HRs in July and August. Concerns might have crept in, but he responded with eight in September.
The injuries are a concern but, aside from 2008, he’s been able to play through them for the most part. He’s not too big of a risk in fantasy drafts as he’s going as the 28th outfielder and 101st overall according to Mock Draft Central.
I do understand that given his injury history and the move to Anaheim are causes for concern for Vernon Wells, I think he’s a solid outfielder option that is capable of a .280-85-25-90-15 line.

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Howie Kendrick has been solid every year since breaking in with the Angels in 2006. He’s had plenty of hype, but has never quite met those expectations. Of course he set career highs with 105 games played and 374 ABs last year, which makes it hard to truly break out.

He got off to a slow start last year, but really turned it on in the second half.

First Half:  209 ABs, .239, 28 runs, 4 HRs, 25 RBIs, 7 SBs, .644 OPS
Second Half:  165 ABs, .358, 33 runs, 5 HRs, 36 RBIs, 4 SBs, .948 OPS

Clearly I don’t think he can maintain that second half production, but I do think he’s figured some things out. His splits were impressive.

Home:  .313, 34 runs, 5 HRs, 31 RBIs, .846 OPS
Away:  .272, 27 runs, 5 HRs, 30 RBIs, .714 OPS

vs. lefties:  .313, 24 runs, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs, .831 OPS
vs. righties:  .278, 37 runs, 4 HRs, 40 RBIs, .745 OPS

All he has to do is remain healthy. If he can do that, he’ll be a borderline starting fantasy second baseman (see fantasy 2B rankings here).

Prediction:  .310, 70 runs, 12 HRs, 60 RBIs, 15 SBs

Past profiles
Arizona Diamondbacks:  Brandon Webb
Atlanta Braves: Yunel Escobar
Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox:  Clay Buchholz
Chicago Cubs:  Geovany Soto
Chicago White Sox:  Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds:  Joey Votto
Cleveland Indians:  Grady Sizemore
Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
Florida Marlins: Cameron Maybin
Houston Astros: Lance Berkman
Kansas City Royals: Billy Butler

1. Will Hideki Matsui continue to produce?
He will turn 36 this summer so expectations should be tempered. He’s also leaving the HR Haven that is Yankee Stadium. Plus, the Angels’ lineup is not as formidable as the Yankees was. Given his injury risk and new home, he’s a player I would avoid in 2010.

2. Will Scott Kazmir continue to pitch well for the Angels?
After a miserable 2009 with Tampa Bay, Kazmir pitched well for the Halos posting a 1.73 ERA in six starts. He is always an injury risk, but should post a low ERA. Getting away from the Yankees and Red Sox should help. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts from Kazmir though, as 2007 was more the exception than the rule.

3. Outside of Kurt Suzuki, will the A’s have any decent fantasy players on offense?
Rajai Davis will get you a bunch of SBs. Other than that it’s a crapshoot. The only dark horse is Jake Fox, who could possibly put up a bunch of HRs for Oakland.

4. Will Jose Lopez have a monster year?
With Ichiro and Chone Figgins setting the table, Lopez should have plenty of RBI opportunities. He averaged 92.5 RBIs the past two years, and should go over the 100 mark this year. See where he ranks among Second Basemen.

5. Will Ichiro win the batting title?
With Chone Figgins hitting behind him and Joe Mauer playing in a new ballpark, I think Ichiro is the favorite to take home the batting crown.

6. Will Chris Davis bounce back?
Davis was everyone’s darling last year and he fell short of expectations thanks to his .238 average . He still managed to hit 21 HRs though, and was a force in September and October hitting .318 with 5 HRs and 21 RBIs in 110 ABs. Look for him to be better in 2010.

7. How will the move to Texas affect Rich Harden?
He’s pitched in the AL West before so he has a brief track record at Ranger Ballpark. It’s not pretty though. In five starts he has a 7.66 ERA, a 2.01 WHIP, and a .330 BAA. Couple that with his injury history and he’s a player I’d avoid on draft day unless he came at an absolute bargain.

What a class act the Angels are.  As a Red Sox fan I have to root against them, but it won’t break my heart if the Angels win the series.  Torii Hunter is awesome and Mike Scioscia has done an amazing job this season.  Here’s a look at the their tribute to Nick Adenhart after clinching the AL West.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Angels rocky 2009 season just hit another bump in the road.  Obviously there is no comparison to their rash of injuries to Nick Adenhart’s tragic passing.  However, it must be noted that Vladimir Guerrero has joined his trio of Pitching teammaets (John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Kelvim Escobar) on the Disabled List with a pectoral strain.  The eight-time All-Star had yet to play in the field for the Halos.  Gary Matthews, Jr. will continue to hold down his Right Field slot while Vlad is on the mend.

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