The LA Angels are officially out of postseason contention, and outside of Mike Trout, there’s no one contending for end of season awards.
However, who’s to say we can’t have our own LA Angels award ceremony? We have five awards here, three of them being awards the Angels actually give out each season.
So, without further ado, the 2019 LA Angels Awards!
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Team MVP: Mike Trout
I mean, what did you expect? The best player in the world having arguably his best season thus far into his career. Without Mike Trout, the Angels are one of the most boring (and worst) teams in baseball. He singlehandedly carries the team for stretches at a time, and his value cannot be overstated.
Mike Trout has missed time, but he is still a lock for the AL MVP, and most definitely the Angels’ MVP.
And for those of you who might say he’s overpaid, you’re simply wrong. Per FanGraphs, as of 9/12, Trout has been worth $69.1 million this season, and he still has two weeks left to add onto that. He is the best player in the world, and will likely win this award for the next five years…at least.
Nick Adenhart Award (Best Pitcher): Andrew Heaney
Given that the Angels’ rotation has been one of the worst of all-time and the bullpen has crumbled as a result of being overworked, this was a tough award to decide on. However, Andrew Heaney is the only pitcher who really stood out. Besides him, Hansel Robles was another name worth consideration.
However, what Heaney has done over the past two months has been extremely impressive. With the Angels focused on Gerrit Cole this offseason, Heaney has evolved and shown us that he can be an elite pitcher in his own right. He gives the Angels hope of a true #1 as long as he stays healthy, but could form into one of the best trio’s of pitchers in the league should Cole sign with the Angels and Shohei Ohtani make his return to full strength in 2019.
Rookie of the Year: Griffin Canning and Luis Rengifo
This award was too close in my opinion to only have one winner. Griffin Canning came into the league and was dynamic right away. However, his season was cut short due to injury and he grew more and more ineffective as the season went on.
On the other hand, Rengifo proved he belongs in the big leagues this year. With his versatility, he should have a role with this team for years to come. If he can tap into his power a little more, his ceiling will grow exponentially.
So while neither of these guys were superstar rookies like Vladdy Jr. and Fernando Tatiana Jr., they both showed promise in their first years. And hey, isn’t it nice for Angels fans to finally have rookies worth mentioning?
Breakout Player: Tommy La Stella
Before the season started, I wrote an article about how Tommy La Stella could be the perfect bench piece for the Angels this year. I thought I was being optimistic then, but boy was I in for a surprise.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen him play, but let’s not forget how special of a season La Stella was having before took a foul ball to his shin, landing on the IL for (likely) the rest of the season. But before that, he was the best second baseman the Angels have had since…Howie Kendrick. The position has been a black hole for the Angels since Kendricks’ departure following the 2014 season.
La Stella was never a starter in Chicago due to the plethora of position players they have. He served as a perfect bench player for years before getting his chance in Anaheim. More playing time meant higher expectations, but no one saw Tommy La Stella evolving into Tommy La All Star.
Biggest Offseason Steal: Brian Goodwin
A waiver claim on the day before the season starts that costs literally nothing besides the league minimum turning into an above-average outfielder with three years left of team control? Sign me up for 25 Brian Goodwin’s!!!
In seriousness though, Goodwin’s ascent has been one of the best parts of the Angels’ season. When Justin Upton was hurt, Goodwin filled in magnificently for the four-time All Star. After Upton came back, Angels fans continued to campaign for Goodwin to stay in the starting lineup.
The Angels have done a good job of getting him as much playing time as possible, and Goodwin’s role going into 2020 will be even more critical with the presumed departure of Kole Calhoun.