Angels have been impressive during spring training
By Joshua Lea
The Los Angeles Angels time at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona is coming to a close with just two games remaining before the “Freeway Series” against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Angels had what many would say is an impressive Cactus League spring training, the bats began to work heavily towards the middle of March, the young prospects showed they can step-up while Jered Weaver, Tyler Skaggs and C.J. Wilson work their way back into rotation. With all the news concerning Wilson, Weaver, and Skaggs surrounding this Angels team, we still have plenty to be excited for as the season approaches.
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The lineup for the Angels could be one of the most efficient lineups in all of baseball, assuming Daniel Nava and company continues their impressive hitting. In spring training, Nava is has complied 17 hits off 37 at bats, with nine RBI’s. What’s important here is it would seem the Angels have another hitter who can consistently get hits at the plate to keep innings alive. Last Season, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, did a majority of the work at the plate. With Nava, Andrelton Simmons, and Yunel Escobar the Angels have more weapons at the plate.
In Spring Training, the Angels have the lowest strikeout totals at 151. They also have one of the best at-bat percentages at .314. They currently sit 2nd in Cactus League play at 15 and eight. The only team with a better record than the Angels is Arizona who is 20-six. The biggest take away from spring training is the offensive improvement from last season to this season. The Angels are averaging 6.8 runs a game. Last season, they average four runs a game putting them 20th in the MLB.
There will also be improvements on the defensive side of the field. The Angels have replaced the entire side of the left-field. Escobar at 3rd, Nava at left-field, and Simmons at shortstop, have made an instant impact on the Angels and will help change the woeful stats of least season such as a -14.0 in run differential and a .67 double-plays a game. Simmons and second baseman Johnny Giavotella have been working together to build rhythm and chemistry in hopes of making more double plays and keeping runners of bases.
While the Angels haven’t been projected to finish higher than 4th in the AL West, there is some comfort in their spring training play. The thought is not only can they challenge for the AL West, they might even be able to win it. The defensive improvements alone will be the single-handed biggest contributing factor in the Angels quest for a World Series.