Why fans should believe in LA Angels this 2024 season

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Angels / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The 2024 MLB season is almost upon us and the expectations for the LA Angels are down compared to other seasons. Yes, Shohei Ohtani has left, but there are plenty of other reasons why you should believe in this team for this season.

The LA Angels' kids are alright 

The youth movement prompted by Angels general manager Perry Minasian is exciting because we haven’t seen a good young core with this team in a while. Minasian could have easily traded guys like Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Logan O’Hoppe for better pieces last season. 

Now, by not trading any of these guys, the hope will be that they develop at the major league level and we see their success during the season. When talking about O’Hoppe and his energy, LA Angels manager Ron Washington stated, “I think I had to take a pin yesterday and push it in him to let some of the air out. That’s just how eager he is, the type of person he is.” 

Schanuel and Neto are also crucial to the team’s success. Schanuel got off to a hot start in his first season in the big leagues, slashing .275/.402/.330 and reached base safely in all 29 games played. He’ll have first base locked down to start the season, and if he develops more power, watch out. 

Neto has shown his defensive capabilities at shortstop, as Washington has stated, “I do see he has some ability to apply. And he’s not someone who is in A-ball , where you give him something and it takes a few minutes. If you give him something, he applies it.” 

A new look bullpen for the LA Angels

Now, we’ve seen Minasian try to tackle the bullpen before and fail. He’ll get another shot at it with the additions of Robert Stephenson, Adam Cimber, and Jose Cisnero. While Stephenson will need some time, as he’s dealing with right shoulder discomfort, he’s still a name to keep an eye on. 

When joining the Rays from the Pirates back in 2023, Stephenson recorded 60 strikeouts in 38.1 innings of work with an impressive 0.678 WHIP. Looking at what made him so successful last season, MLB.com writer Paul Casella wrote, “The biggest change Stephenson made was altering the release point on his slider. It sounds simple, but it essentially turned the pitch into a completely new offering.” 

Cimber is another interesting arm, as he throws from a side-arm angle, which can give hitters another look. He was elite back in 2022, as he posted a 2.80 ERA in 70.2 innings of work. He also produced a strong spring training as, in nine games pitched, he only gave up one earned run.