LA Angels Opening Day: Could this be the best lineup in baseball?
By Alfonso Cerna
No.7 Jose Iglesias-SS
Shortstop Jose Iglesias could be an underrated addition for the Angels this season. All he’s done this spring is slug (.704) and make defensive plays of the year. Last summer in Baltimore he slashed .373/.400/.556 with three home runs and 24 RBI through 39 games. Depending on how well he’s swinging the bat, I think Iglesias will bat in this spot or at No.9 this season. He’ll join some exclusive names in the shortstop free-agent market this winter, so expect to Iglesias to continue his all-out efforts for the Halos in 2021.
LA Angels Opening Day: Someone in the bottom of the order needs to step up.
No.8 Max Stassi-C
As of now, the starting catching job is Max Stassi’s to lose. The Angels were looking to upgrade the catching position this past offseason, also in part due Stassi recovering from hip surgery. Instead the Halos opted to bring in veteran Kurt Suzuki as to make spot starts. He performed well in 31 games last summer slashing .278/.352/.533 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. He’s projected with poor offensive numbers this season (.220/.303/.373), so if that occurs the Halos will need to look elsewhere for help behind the plate.
No.9 Dexter Fowler-RF
He’s not the All-Star leadoff man of the past. Instead, the Angels will turn to Fowler to provide leadership in the clubhouse. Fowler is one of the league’s best in that department, but at some point, the Halos will need production in their corner outfield. That could come in the form of Juan Lagares who swung a red-hot bat this spring. Fowler is also serving as a placeholder for young outfielders Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. In 43 spring at-bats, Fowler slashed .209/.217/.372 with one home run and five RBI. It won’t take long for Maddon to begin using Lagares in the outfield if those offensive trends continue.
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Even though it wasn’t the offseason many fans hoped for, there’s still a lot to be excited for with this Angels offense. I’m going out on a limb and predicting they’ll rank top-5 in most offensive categories this year, but the potential is there.