Young Talent Thrives for Los Angeles Angels

By Anthony Laughlin

Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years, the Angels haven’t been known to have much young talent. Most teams around the league showcase young talent while they have veterans to support them. Since 2011 though, the Angels have started to turn into a somewhat young team.

That year, the Angels debuted Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos into the everyday lineup. Both players performed exceptionally well in their role; Trumbo being a 30-homer per year player and Bourjos as a speed demon. Then later that September, was the debut of Mike Trout.

Everybody knows what Trout can do of course. He rose to stardom in 2012 and has continued to grow in national popularity as he plays more and more. With Trumbo and Bourjos now gone from the Angels, younger pitching was brought in. Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago have very much over-performed in their first years in Anaheim and have helped to put the Angels in the heat of the AL West race.

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Other young players the Angels now feature include Grant Green, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the Oakland Athletics last season, he is a useful utility player who can play the outfield and virtually any infield position. Another player is C.J. Cron, who may be the most important player to the Angels successes, who took over as the everyday designated hitter . He has hit .297 with eight homers and 22 runs batted in.

Cron took over the full time DH position on June 21 with the released of 42-year old Raul Ibanez. The most important pitcher has been Matt Shoemaker. When Santiago struggled, and Skaggs went down with an injury, he stepped in and he has pitched phenomenally posting a record of 5-2 with an ERA of 4.50.

The Angels have appeared to piece a bullpen together with a mix of young guys and veterans. While they have had their struggles, they have done a decent job. Mike Morin is the biggest surprise from the ‘pen. He’s gone 2-1 with an ERA of 1.91 and possesses a good fastball and a change-up that can finish righty and lefty batters. Morin has been one of the most reliable options from Mike Scioscia‘s bullpen.

Over the last recent stretch of games, the Angels have given defined roles to each guy, and it has helped solidify one of the team’s biggest question marks.

Much of the Angels success in 2014 can be attributed to their young talent. These players have made the Angels into a perrennial playoff team. With the addition of another starting pitcher or bullpen piece; this team will be in prime position to make a run in October.