2020 MLB Power Rankings: 9. Los Angeles Angels


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Brendan Murphy

The Los Angeles Angels are a team that has failed expectations virtually every year Mike Trout has been in the big leagues. With the best player on the planet leading your team, you’d think they’d have at least some success right? Well it’s been six years since the Angels were last in the playoffs and I believe this is the year they get back. I have the Angels as the ninth best team in baseball heading into 2020.

There is no question that Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, but he really hasn’t had much protection in the lineup in recent years, that was until Shohei Ohtani came to town.

Ohtani became an instant star for the Halos with his electric stuff on the mound and outstanding hit ability. He was Trout’s first real protection in the lineup in years. With Ohtani and big time free agent signing Anthony Rendon going along with Trout in the middle of that order, it looks quite formidable.

The lineup also has a mix of solid veterans and young newcomers that complete the puzzle. Justin Upton is still very productive at 32, Andrelton Simmons has turned a corner with his bat and David Fletcher broke out in a big way last season. Let’s not forget future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. While he is in the twilight of his career, Pujols is still a power threat and can drive runners when needed. Top to bottom, this is one of the better lineups in baseball.

The biggest reason why the Angels have missed the playoffs the last five seasons stems from their lack of talent in the starting rotation. However, this rotation seems to be the best one they’ve had in recent memory. Ohtani is going to be able to pitch again, albeit in limited innings, and he should be that top end starter the Angels desperately need. They acquired Julio Teheran in free agency and traded for Dylan Bundy in the offseason, both could be bounce back candidates in 2020. Andrew Heaney has been a solid starter for the past few seasons and Griffin Canning has good upside. I like this rotation a lot better now than I did last year or any year in the last five for that matter.

The Angels have arguably the best prospect in all of baseball in Jo Adell, who has drawn comparisons to his future teammate Mike Trout. He is a five tool prospect who has superstar potential. At 21 years old, Adell is still likely a season away from the big leagues but he could be an outstanding player when he gets there. Outside of Adell and outfield prospect Brandon Marsh, the Angels system is pretty weak, ranked 25th by Bleacher Report even with those two.

The Angels have a World Series window that is closing fast. Trout isn’t getting any younger and they need to take advantage of having the best player in the world and at least make the playoffs. It’s now or never for this Halos squad, who I have losing in the Division Series.

Top Acquisition – Anthony Rendon

Biggest loss – Justin Bour

MVP – Mike Trout

Projected Finish – AL West Champions

Projected Lineup:

  1. David Fletcher, 2B
  2. Mike Trout, CF
  3. Shohei Ohtani, DH
  4. Anthony Rendon, 3B
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Albert Pujols, 1B
  7. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  8. Jason Castro, C
  9. Brian Goodwin, RF

Projected Rotation:

  1. Shohei Ohtani
  2. Julio Teheran
  3. Andrew Heaney
  4. Dylan Bundy
  5. Griffin Canning

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