2014 – Matt Shoemaker 16-4, 3.04 ERA 1.08 WHIP 124 K’s and Mike Trout .287 36 HR 111 RBIs. (AL MVP)
The 2014 season had the feel of 2002 and 2009 as we went through it, but it ended very disappointingly with a 3-game first round sweep to the Royals in the ALDS. For their part though Matt Shoemaker and Mike Trout both had amazing seasons that helped propel the Angels into the post-season.
Shoemaker came out of nowhere and pitched brilliantly in his rookie season finishing 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting by going 16-4 with a 1.08 WHIP and a 3.04 ERA. This helped soften the blow when Garrett Richards blew out his ACL in Boston while covering 1st base. Shoemaker and Weaver both pitched great in the playoffs, but lack of run support doomed the Angels in the postseason.
Mike Trout, on the other hand, had his best regular-season numbers of his career at that point as he smashed 36 homers and drove in 111 runs while batting .287. He solidified the offense and made up for a poor season by Josh Hamilton. It was impossible to choose which player was more important to the 2014 team. So I chose both.