3 Angels players we should raise the bar for in 2024

It's fair to expect big years from these players

Sep 20, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe (14)
Sep 20, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe (14) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Expecting much of anything from the 2024 Los Angeles Angels is nothing more than wishful thinking, at least for now. The Angels have lost Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers, and so far, have done nothing to replace him. The offseason is young and there are plenty of great players still available, but it's hard to envision the 73-89 Angels with Shohei, doing much better without him.

While the 2023 season was a bad one for the Angels, these three players played their way to earning higher expectations in 2024. It might not amount to much winning, but these players should play a huge role on the team assuming health.

1) Brandon Drury

Brandon Drury broke out in 2022 for the Reds and Padres, winning a Silver Slugger and hitting 28 home runs. The breakout felt very random for a journeyman who hadn't been a full-time player since 2019 with the Blue Jays. Things finally clicked for Drury who then signed a two-year deal worth $17 million to join the Angels that offseason.

The contract Drury received suggested teams didn't expect him to replicate that production. Silver Slugger winners certainly don't make $8.5 million as their annual salary. Drury had a lot to prove and did just that by putting up very similar numbers for the Angels.

Drury slashed .262/.306/.497 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI. He missed a month due to injury but was still one of the most productive second basemen in the AL offensively, and even impressed with his glove as well. Ohtani was obviously the team's best hitter, but it's not a stretch at all to say Drury ranked second on the team.

Drury began the 2023 season as a player with a lot to prove, hitting seventh on Opening Day. He turned out to play like an all-star for much of the year and now has the expectations of being one of the better second basemen in the league squarely on his shoulders.