Projected lineup:

  1. Andrelton Simmons
  2. Kole Calhoun
  3. Mike Trout
  4. Albert Pujols
  5. Justin Upton
  6. C.J Cron
  7. Kaleb Cowart
  8. Martin Maldonado
  9. Luis Valbuena

  The Angels just missed out on a Wild Card spot in 2017, and have already made a splash on the Hot Stove, signing Justin Upton to a five year 106 million dollar deal. With arguably the best player in fantasy and real life in Mike Trout, the Angels should be contenders for the A.L. Wild Card spot come 2018.

  Andrelton Simmons is known for his defense, but showed he has offensive potential to for the first time since 2013. While he faded a bit in the second half, hitting .263 with only 5 home runs, you aren’t drafting him for the power. He showed in 2017 that he has 15/15 potential. Overall, Simmons hit 14 home runs and stole 19 bases with a solid .278 average. Look for him late if you don’t grab a top tier shortstop early.

  Kole Calhoun used to be a great third OF type player, but had a down year in 2017. After hitting .277 in 2016, his average fell all the way to .244. He did hit 19 home runs and had 71 RBI, but his run production was down. Hitting in front of the best hitter in baseball has its benefits and Calhoun could be in for a bounce-back in 2018 and should be had at a discount come draft day. If Trout stays healthy and Calhoun bounces back, he should easily score 90+ runs.

  Mike Trout, not much to say other then if you have the first pick in your redraft league, enjoy having the best hitter in baseball. An injury hampered his MVP type season, but that shouldn’t scare you off Trout.

  Albert Pujols is an enigma, but still useful fantasy-wise despite his age. The average will probably never touch .300 again in his career, but he did eclipse the century mark in RBI for the 2nd straight season. His batting average will hurt (.241 in 2017)  and his power isn’t what it was (down 8 HR from 2016), but if you have a good league setup that has more than one UTIL spot, Pujols will get you the counting stats in a standard league.

  Justin Upton is coming off a career year swatting 35 bombs and pacing the century mark in RBI for the second time in his career. His .273 average was his best since 2012 in Arizona. All this lead up to a lucrative deal with the Angels this offseason. Hitting behind Trout and Pujols puts Upton in a great position and he should be a very valuable power-hitting outfielder in 2018.

  C.J Cron has been mishandled by the Angels time and time again for the last few years. Will 2018 finally be the year where he can play 150 games? It seems anytime Cron got it going the past few years, he got sat or sent to the minors.  Cron has hit 16 home runs in fewer than 117 games in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The batting average did take a nosedive in 2017, but going into his age 28 season, Cron could be in for a career year. The only question is will the Angels commit to playing him every day. He has the power, he just needs the playing time to surpass 20 home runs

  Kaleb Cowart is a decent enough 2B/3B for the Angels, but has no fantasy relevancy, despite the excellent K rate.

  Martin Maldonado won a Gold Glove for his excellent defense in 2017, but his defense won’t help your fantasy team, consider him nothing more than a 2 catcher guy in deep leagues.

  Luis Valbuena can knock the ball out of the park every once in awhile, but that .199 average? Yikes, nothing to see here, move along.

  The Angel’s bottom of the lineup isn’t anything to write home about, but the top of the lineup could be one of the better ones in the American League this year, and why wouldn’t they be with the likes of Trout. The question is, will they be good enough for a Wild Card spot?

 

Photo Credit: Sportingnews.com

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