Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (89-73) - Third Place American League West

Millions of dollars were spent and plenty of players were acquired, and what did it lead to? Missing the playoffs.  Everything the Angels did in 2012 seemed like a sure fire way to move past the Texas Rangers and onto the top of the standings in the American League West almost ensuring the Angels with a trip to the World Series.  Little did the Angels know, the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles were in for seasons that no one could see coming.  The Angels missing the playoffs was disappointing, but the future looks bright with Mike Trout leading the way.

I'd wear those shades too if I got paid like Wilson did.
Pitchers- After signing a five-year $77.5 million deal, C.J. Wilson was pretty good for the Angels in 2012 sporting a 3.83 ERA with 13 wins in 34 starts.  The big money free agent, struck out 173 batters for the Angels.  Wilson was so successful in 2012, he even opened a Mazda dealership in suburban Chicago.  Jered Weaver is awesome and no one can take that away from him.  What isn't awesome, is his hair.  Anyways, on the mound, Weaver led the Angels with 20 wins in 30 starts.  Weaver was once again a Cy Young candidate, but came up short, losing to David Price.  Weaver also had an astonishing 2.81 ERA.  Weaver not only had an awesome season, but it was highlighted on May 2, when he pitched his first no hitter.  The big story near the trade deadline came when the Angels acquired Zach Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers for three prospects.  Greinke started 13 games for the Angels winning 6.  Greinke didn't lead the Angels to the playoffs, but the DUDE IS GONNA GET PAID!!  

Infielders- Did I mention the Angels spent a lot of money in the off-season?  Well they did, and that included signing Albert Pujols to a 10 year $254 million contract!  Pujols started the season slow, but caught fire late.  Pujols finished the season with 30 home runs 105 RBIs and a .285 average.  Now to anyone else those numbers are great, but for Pujols, that is a down year.  Only time will tell if this contract was a good one, but in my opinion after one year, it doesn't look good for the Angels.  The big surprise of the year was the production of Mark Trumbo.  The problem with Trumbo, is that he does not have a true position on the field.  Trumbo led the Angels with 32 home runs and added 95 runs batted in.  Second basemen Howie Kendrick was himself again in 2012 batting for a respectable average, but that is about all that Kendrick brings to the table.

I get this is a picture when Pujols was on the Cards, BUT LOOK AT THE PICTURE HOLY CRAP!

Outfielders- Torii Hunter had a career year in 2012, batting .313 and knocked in 92 runs.  Hunter was moved to right field and to the surprise of no one was great defensively.  What seems to be left out of a lot of conversations with fans is how likable Hunter is.  Hunter is a great clubhouse guy and someone that young players can learn a lot from.  That about wraps up the Angels season..... Oh wait, there was this rookie that played for the Angels?  What was his name again?  Mike Trout you say?  How could I go this long about the 2012 season and not mention the great Mike Trout?  Honestly, it is because words can't describe how good Mike Trout was in 2012.  Trout led the Angels in average, batting .326, stolen bases with 49 (MLB Leader), hit 30 home runs, drove in 83 runs, and scored 129 runs (MLB Leader).  Trout also played an awesome center field and for all your metrics guys out there, led all of baseball in Wins Above Replacement at 10.0, two higher than National League MVP, Buster Posey.  Now the debate could go on forever about Trout not winning the MVP, but let's enjoy the fact that at age 20, Trout is an incredible talent, won rookie of the year and it seems like the sky in the limit for this kid.  Maybe in all honestly, winning the MVP at such a young age would put too much pressure on him?  I really don't believe that at all, but if Trout performs this way for the next 15 years I am sure no one will even remember this when Trout in shining in his bust in Cooperstown. Yes, I did just go there.

Trout stealing a home run from my beloved White Sox.

Twitter Account of the Day : Mike Trout @Trouty20 

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Check back tonight for the Daily Hot Stove and find out what yours truly is thankful for in the baseball world!