Power Rankings review: Fallen Angels
By Joshua Lea
One day remains before the Los Angeles Angels take the mound on a quest for AL validity. The rebound from last season is the focus of the team going into its first spring game of 2016.
With any sport, there are projections and rankings to read over and speculate about. Of course these rankings are merely a table cloth for the upcoming season; although, there can be an undying truth to some of the numbers. The Angels have been projected as low as 24th and as high as 21st via ESPN and Bleacher Report. It’s easy to dismiss these rankings, after all its only spring. Sure, the Angels have had some injury issues, and the bats aren’t swinging aside from Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Kole Calhoun, but is that enough reason to write the Angels off given the fact that Trout is a great player?
No, you can’t completely write off the Angels this season. The Angels have players capable of producing. Also, they’ve added some firepower at the batting position. The starting lineup for spring training is projected to be as follows. 3B Yunel Escobar, Calhoun, Trout, 1B C.J. Cron, LF Daniel Nava, SS Andrelton Simmons, C Carlos Perez, DH Craig Gentry, and 2B Johnny Giavotella finishing up the order. On paper it’s not a bad lineup; however, its easy to see why the Angels are picked so low despite having one of the greatest hitters of this generation in Trout. Last season, Escobar had a BA of .314 with 56 RBI’s and 75 runs scored which isn’t terrible. Simmons was basically the same but a BA of .251. So, the Angels didn’t spend big money to help Trout succeed in his prime. One thing is clear, it will be up to the pitching staff to maintain the defensive end of the field in order for this team to succeed.
You see it all the time in the NBA, a great player falls into the lap of a team that’s been lackluster for 10 seasons or more. This players shows signs of greatness, so you surround that player with a mixture of veterans and young unproven players in hopes that your budding superstar can lead you to the promise land. But, that plan usually backfires when you sign not 1 but 2 players to insane contracts. One of which you dealt just to get him on his way in Josh Hamilton. The other, may still have some slugger left in him in Pujols, although it doesn’t help that ESPN recently gave him the honor of having the title “worst contract in all of baseball.”
So the rankings although way too early, might have some clout. lets just hope that hidden gem is somewhere in the clubhouse to compliment Trout. Let’s hope that for once, Arte Moreno knew something we didn’t. It would be ashame to let a talent like Mike Trout leave the game without a championship.
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