Since our LA Angels All-2010’s Team series has concluded, now we look into the next decade.
Today we’ll be predicting who will be honored on the LA Angels All-2020’s team ten years from now. It goes without saying Joe Maddon will likely be the manager of the decade for the Halos, but who will join him at each position?
Catcher: Tyler Soderstrom
If you’re an Angels fan and went “Who?” reading that name, don’t worry. As we all know, the Angels haven’t exactly been fruitful at the catching position for some time. Tyler Soderstrom is the top-ranked catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft, and could be a target for the Angels in the first round. He has the elite athleticism Billy Eppler has been fond of, and could be the long-term answer for the Angels. It would take some time for him to develop, but Soderstrom could be in the majors for the Angels for the majority of the decade.
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First Base: Matt Thaiss
If you aren’t a Matt Thaiss believer, this pick isn’t so easy. However, Thaiss showed some serious pop in his game last year and could wind up being the answer once Albert Pujols takes his last at-bat for the Angels. His lefty-power and improving defense put him as a lead candidate when that day comes, and Thaiss has all the potential to make the most of it.
Second Base: David Fletcher
While David Fletcher has the ability to be the all-decade choice at more than just second base, this is where I’m sticking him. With the Anthony Rendon signing (more on him next), Fletcher has the chance to go from super utility player to All Star second baseman for years to come in Anaheim.
Third Base: Anthony Rendon
Duh. Rendon just inked a seven-year deal to be in Anaheim for what is likely the rest of his career. He is an MVP-caliber player, and if the Angels find themselves in the playoffs frequently in the 2020’s, Rendon showed during the Washington Nationals’ World Series run this year he is at his best in the playoffs, and should provide Angels fans with plenty of clutch hits over the next seven seasons.
Shortstop: Jeremiah Jackson
If Andrelton Simmons and the Angels agree to a contract extension before next offseason, this is without a doubt Andrelton Simmons’ spot to lose. Trust me, no one values Simmons’ defense more than me, but with his contract situation I couldn’t put him here.
Instead, Jeremiah Jackson is my bet for the Angels All-2020 team. He’s still 2-3 years away from the majors, but showed serious power in the Pioneer League last year, and has a bright future ahead of him. His defense should also allow him to stick at shortstop in the big leagues.
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Left Field: Brandon Marsh
While Jo Adell gets a lot of the love from Halo fans, Brandon Marsh has as good of a shot to make the All-2020 team as baseball’s #5 prospect. Ranked as the Angels’ second best prospect, Marsh may have to wait longer than Adell to fully break into the roster as he’s the likely replacement for Justin Upton.
Center Field: Mike Trout
Right Field: Jo Adell
His reign as the LA Angels right fielder could start as soon as Opening Day next season, but Jo Adell will leave his mark in Anaheim one way or another. The Angels have made him unavailable in trade talks, and he has been a stud during offseason activities. Whether it’s Opening Day or later on in the 2020 season, Jo Adell is set to be the Angels’ next star and another huge bat for their lineup.
Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani
While Shohei Ohtani has a chance to be the only Angel to have multiple spots on this list, I only have him as the designated hitter here. He could very well be the ace the Angels need, but his injury and workload history doesn’t seem to strongly indicate that will be the case. However, he has shown he can be an elite hitter whether he’s pitching or not, and Ohtani is as good a bet as anyone to be the All-2020’s designated hitter.
Starting Pitcher: Griffin Canning
This is my choice to be the Angels starter over Ohtani. With over five years of service time remaining, the Angels are going to have a lot of Griffin Canning starts. While he may never develop into the true ace every team needs, Canning has legitimate front-of-the-rotation potential and will look to prove it in 2020 and beyond.
Relief Pitcher: Keynan Middleton
Returning from what was mostly a lost 2019 season, Keynan Middleton is going to be an impact reliever in 2020 and could be the pitcher that takes their bullpen to the next level. At just 26-years old, Middleton is entering his prime and will spend most, if not all, of the 2020’s as an Angel.