LA Angels 2012 season preview-Fantasy Baseball

The Angels dominated the AL West for years, but have had two disappointing years in a row and have watched the Texas Rangers go to two straight World Series. So this off-season, the Angels angrily (I would like to imagine they were angry at least. “Sign this contract now Albert!”) signed the best free agent MLB pitcher (and the MLB’s best race car driver) and the best hitter in all of baseball. They also improved their catching position and added a decent middle reliever. This makes them the probable favorite to win the AL West, even though the Rangers will give them a run for their money.

Mar. 14, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Anaheim Angels batter Albert Pujols hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at The Ballpark at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Key Additions

Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Latroy Hawkins, Chris Iannetta

Key Losses

Tyler Chatwood, Joel Pinerio, Jeff Mathis, Russell Branyan, Fernando Rodney, Maicer Izturis

Projected Lineup:

Peter Bourjos: 96 OPS +, 207th best in the Majors

Howie Kendrick: 104 OPS +, 114th

Albert Pujols: 158 OPS +, 1st

Torii Hunter: 107 OPS +, 96th

Mark Trumbo: 98 OPS +, 181st

March 16, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) celebrates with Torii Hunter (48) after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Iannetta: 103 OPS +, 124th

Vernon Wells: 95 OPS +, 219th

Bobby Abreu: 99 OPS +, 174th

Alberto Callaspo: 96 OPS +, 206th

Projected Rotation (according to ZIPS projections)

Jared Weaver: 128 ERA +, 36th best in the Majors

Dan Haren: 113 ERA +, 103rd

C.J. Wilson: 120 ERA +, 68th

Ervin Santana: 97 ERA +, 293rd

Trevor Bell: 86 ERA +, 539th/Jerome Williams: 81 ERA +, 698th

Closer

Jordan Walden: 115th, 93rd

Feb 29, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo (44) during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Most Overrated Player:

Mark Trumbo. Trumbo has some pop (a .223 ISO in 2011, and Baseball Cube ranks his power at 83 out of 100), but his inability to get on base (just a .291 OBP, Carl Crawford was rightly considered downright awful at baseball in 2011 with a .289 OBP) is quite striking and it doesn’t appear that it will improve (his minor league OBP .330 and 33 patience rating). He is also moving to third base, where he will most likely be below average at defensively.

Most Underrated Player

While 5 million dollars is usually too much for a reliever, it is not too much for Scott Downs. Downs has averaged 2 wins above replacement in the last two years, despite throwing less than 120 innings. Unless Walden flames out, he won’t be the closer, but he is a very valuable reliever piece

Oct. 5, 2011; Surprise, AZ, USA; Scottsdale Scorpions outfielder Mike Trout against the Surprise Saguaros at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Sleeper

Assuming that he gets over the illness he has now that is costing him spring training, Mike Trout is going to be awesome at baseball. He will probably start the year in the minors, but he won’t be there for long. He has super speed (rated at 91 by Baseball Cube), gets on base, and showcases a bit of power.

Editor’s Note: This is part of our on-going baseball preview. For another look at the Angels click here, and for all the other teams and position previews click here.

Topics: 2012 Spring Preview, Albert Pujols, Fantasy Baseball Help, Fantasy Baseball Sleepers, Los Angeles Angels, Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout

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