Next season is the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Angels‘ only World Series championship. Ever since that exhilarating victory, Angels fans have been looking for signs of another one.
The 2005 and 2009 clubs were tantalizingly close. They were knocking on the door, but just didn’t get enough done to step through.
Those Angels teams were an excellent mix of veterans and young players, as was the trademark of clubs during the Bill Stoneman era.
Today’s LA Angels are starting to resemble the blueprint of those championship contending squads.
Having Mike Trout at full health is the first imperative for the LA Angels. Having Trout sit out the remainder of this season is the correct move. Once he’s able and can return his focus to performing instead of rehabilitating, he’s going to raise the spirit and morale of the ball club.
Same with the health of third baseman Anthony Rendon. He’s the anchor of the infield.
The star of the Washington Nationals 2019 championship team is looking for a return to form. When healthy, Rendon is one of the finest clutch hitters in baseball.
Outfielder Justin Upton has also battled injuries throughout his tenure with the Angels. The Angels finally filled a hole they had in left field for many years when they signed Upton to a five-year deal before the 2018 season.
Upton will be in the final year of his contract. Players usually gain focus during their walk-year.
Shohei Ohtani has become a baseball legend.
He’s signed until the end of 2023. His contribution to the Angels next season will be priceless. He’s the new face of not only the Angels, but arguably all of Major League Baseball.
Young players like Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh are progressing nicely. Jared Walsh and David Fletcher are solid. They’re the future anchors that are the main reason for the confidence the Angels fans have moving forward.
The organization hasn’t had a youthful crop of home grown players like them in 20 years, which brings us to be Angels pitching staff.
It’s always the biggest question for the Angels. How are the pitchers going to contribute?
Ohtani will give them everything he has every 6th day. After that? It will be a mix of young known arms and whomever else GM Perry Minasian can lure in or trade for.
Minasian has proven to be a fine judge of character and talent in the short time he’s been on the job. His draft this year of 20 pitchers shows where his focus is.
Manager Joe Maddon will have his hands full. He has a proven track record of being plenty capable of executing what needs to be done.
The future looks bright. The main pieces are in place. It’ll be fascinating to see how they fit.