With new additions to the Los Angeles Angels roster, Scioscia will have options.

Sep 27, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Los Angeles Angels making a plethora of moves to upgrade their offense as well as their defense, it also gives Angels manager Mike Scioscia a multitude of line-up options for the 2017 season.

So the question is what can we expect from Mike Trout in the upcoming 2017 season.  With the Los Angeles Angels making upgrades in left field with the signing of Ben Revere and trade for Cameron Maybin which gives the team two prototypical lead-off hitters and the addition of second baseman Danny Espinosa, and newly signed Luis Valbuena,Trout should flourish in 2017.

The only question mark is where Trout will hit in the line-up.  Early in the season Trout may be place in the clean-up spot with Albert Pujols likely to start the season on the disabled list.  Once Pujols comes back to the Angels, manager Mike Scioscia will have some options for the line-up.  With additions of the aforementioned potential lead-off hitters in Maybin and Revere, Scioscia could choose one of the two to fill the top spot in the line-up.

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So then the question becomes who will fill the second spot that Kole Calhoun held down in 2016.  Calhoun had been subject of trade rumors off and last season and even this winter, now seems to have some job security as he signed a three-year contract extension with a club option in 2020.  With this move it would seem to be a safe bet that the Angels will have both Calhoun and Trout anchoring down the outfield for a few more years.

With this said Calhoun may be moved down in the order from second to maybe fifth or sixth if the Angels go with one of the aforementioned lead-off hitters (Revere and Maybin) and Yunel Escobar, last year’s lead-off hitter, moves down to the number two spot.  That moves us to the third spot which was anchored by AL MVP Mike Trout.

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Should Trout stay at the third spot or move into the clean-up spot?  Early in the season Trout may fill the clean-up role in absence of Albert Pujols who could still be on the DL after having off-season surgery on his foot.  When Pujols gets back does he move back into the clean-up spot or does he get bumped to the fifth spot.  If Trout goes to the clean-up spot then Calhoun moves to the #3 spot. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia will have to decide this.

The options for the fourth spot of the line-up are the aforementioned Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.  A third option would be C.J. Cron.  Cron has occupied the clean-up role on occasion and could be ready to assume that spot full-time.  My bet is that Pujols will reassume his role as the clean-up man when he is healthy, but if he struggles look for Cron or Trout to be the next option.

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With all this speculating here in the middle of the order the fifth spot doesn’t get any easier to predict.  C.J. Cron assumed this role most of the 2016 season when healthy, and should do so again after Albert returns from his injury.  Like I mentioned before Albert could be bumped down to the fifth spot if Scioscia decides to use Trout or Cron in the clean-up role.  Another option is to move Kole Calhoun into this slot if Escobar assumes the role as the #2 hitter.

In the sixth spot in the Angels 2017 line-up the most likely candidates are either second baseman Danny Espinosa or the 2016 incumbent shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Simmons had a strong year batting .281 with four homers and 44 RBI’s in 2016 and was a big boost down the stretch for the Angels.  This brings us to the seventh spot in the line-up which will most likely be Espinosa or Simmons (whichever one does not fill the sixth slot.

With Espinosa’s power (24 homers in 2016) you might thing you would want him to fill the sixth spot, but his .209 batting average suggests that he might be better in the seven-hole. The eighth and ninth spot will depend on what Scioscia decides to do with the lead-off spot.  If Maybin or Revere do not fill the lead-off role then they will most likely find themselves in the #8 or #9 spot in the line-up.  Carlos Perez or Martin Maldonado will probably fill the 8th spot with Maybin or Revere filling the 9th spot as Scioscia has liked having a speed guy in the ninth spot to give the Angels so options as the top of the order comes back around.

Next: How does the corner infielld look for Angels in 2017?

So here is my final predictions for the Angels line-up for 2017.

  • #1 – Cameron Maybin/Ben Revere LF
  • #2 – Yunel Escobar 3B
  • #3 – Mike Trout CF
  • #4 – Albert Pujols DH
  • #5 – C.J. Cron 1B
  • #6 – Kole Calhoun RF
  • #7 – Danny Espinosa 2B
  • #8 – Andrelton Simmons SS
  • #9 – Carlos Perez/ Martin Maldanado

You may agree or disagree with me on this line-up, but I am willing to bet you may this batting order at least a few times in 2017 and maybe it will be the main line-up Scioscia will use. Whatever line-up the Angels use in 2017 hopefully the people in it will show consistent production throughout the season which should help improve the Angels offensive output in 2017.