FanGraphs Projections for Angels’ Hitters in 2015


More from Halo Hangout

With spring training set to open in just under a month, General Manager Jerry Dipoto‘s work is almost done this offseason. The Angels roster is nearly complete, with just a few finishing touches still to be added. With that in mind, we thought it would be an appropriate time to take a look at what the sabermetrically inclined mathematicians over at have projected for the Angels’ batsmen using their world famous steamer in 2015.

This first table is showing 2015 projections for the key offensive statistical categories for Angels’ projected starters according to FanGraphs.

[table id=3 /]

The next table shows offensive projections for the five remaining bench players who are projected to see more than 100 plate appearances this season in Anaheim.

[table id=4 /]

Historically, FanGraphs errs on the side of caution in crafting their projections, and obviously this trend continued with the Angels. FanGraphs provides fans with accurate projections, however they have a hard time projecting the player who surprises fans by posting breakout numbers.

The Halos led the league last season scoring 773 runs as they marched their way to the American League West crown. FanGraphs is expecting the Angels to plate 696 runs in 2015, down 77 runs from last year, but still a respectable number. The Halos’ 155 home runs were good for seventh in the league last season, FanGraphs thinks that number will balloon to 163 this year. As a group the Angels tied for the fifth highest batting average at .259 in 2014, FanGraphs expects the Halos to hit .250 in 2015. Last year, the Angels registered the seventh highest OPS in the league at .728, the gurus at FanGraphs think that stat will plummet to .707 this season.

These projections do point out some areas the Angels’ brass still need to address heading into 2015. The Halos are expected to be one of the slowest teams in the big leagues this year with only 84 steals as a team. Only Mike Trout is projected to top 20 steals this season. Here at Halo Hangout, we have suggested the Angels could remedy this situation by adding speedster Eric Young Jr., and these numbers further illustrate his potential value to the club. With so many big bats in the lineup, a high strikeout rate is a natural consequence. The Angels are projected to whiff 1,156 times in 2015. While that number is around the league average, it is still a tad bit high.

Sep 5, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) at bat against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout hit .287, with 36 home runs, 111 RBI’s, 115 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases this past season. While 2014 may not have been his best statistical year, Trout still managed to take home his first American League MVP Award. FanGraphs is on record predicting Trouty will hit .297, with 31 home runs, 93 RBI’s, 109 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases. Based on these projections we can anticipate a slightly more balanced campaign from the 23-year-old center fielder, with an uptick in steals, batting average and OBP, while hitting less home runs and driving in fewer than 100 RBI’s. Trout tallied 7.5 wins above replacement in 2014, and he is expected to post a remarkable 8.7 WAR this season. Batting out of the number three hole in 2015, I have little doubt Trout will once again be crowned the AL MVP at seasons end.

Albert Pujols had a bounce back season in 2014 with the Angels, and the experts at FanGraphs suggest he will produce similar numbers in 2015. Last year, Pujols hit .272, with 28 home runs, 105 RBI’s, 89 runs scored, and an OBP of .324. The 35-year-old first baseman is projected to hit .269, with 26 home runs, 87 RBI’s, 78 runs scored, and an OBP of .330. Pujols is going to slide into the cleanup spot in 2015, and 87 runs batted in seems low for the number four hitter on an offensive juggernaut like the Angels. Health will once again be key for Pujols this season, and if his health holds, I would expect another quality season from the future Hall-of-Famer in 2015.

Josh Hamilton has given Angels’ fans little to cheer about during his first two seasons in the big A. Unfortunately, FanGraphs does not anticipate that changing in 2015. The 34-year-old hit .263, with 10 home runs, 44 RBI’s, and an OBP of .331 across 381 plate appearances last season. FanGraphs expects Hamilton to hit just .247, with 19 home runs, 70 RBI’s, and an OBP of .311 across 564 plate appearances. Dipoto has reportedly asked this offseason if Hamilton would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. If Hamilton once again fails to produce in 2015, the Angels may be forced to search for a new left fielder.

More from LA Angels News

It is interesting to note that FanGraphs expects Josh Rutledge to beat out Grant Green this spring for the starting second base job. Based on the results of our poll conducted last week, it is safe to say the fans feel differently. The projections for the two men are quite similar, with Green looking like the slightly more capable hitter, but losing out due Rutledge’s superior fielding. Surprisingly, FanGraphs anticipates Johnny Giavotella will have nearly as many plate appearances as Green in 2015. Giavotella has been a bit of an afterthought in the Angels’ second base competition, but if you put much stock in the FanGraphs steamer, he may play a bigger role than many expect this season in the big A.

Overall, these numbers are very encouraging. The Angels were one of the most potent offensive clubs in baseball last season, and these projections suggest they will be a force to be reckoned with this season as well. Based on what FanGraphs is saying, if the pitching staff can hold up their end of the bargain, fans’ in Anaheim will once again be treated to postseason baseball this October. Speaking of the pitching staff, make sure to check back later this week, as we will analyze the FanGraphs steamer projections for the Angels’ pitchers in 2015.

Next: Prospect Profile: Kyle Kubitza