89-73, 3rd in the AL West
Let’s talk about the Angels. In order to perform better, they signed Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to big contracts of different degrees before the 2012 season. Wilson didn’t pitch that well. Pujols struggled early and eventually ended up having a good for most people kind of season. They probably should have been a playoff type team, but instead came in third in their own division. Oh, and there was this Mike Trout fellow too. It was a busy year.
Seven players topped 2.0 WAR and helped the offense get the team on track led by Mike Trout (10.0) and backed up by Torii Hunter (5.3), Albert Pujols (3.9), Erick Aybar (3.4), Howie Kendrick (2.8), Alberto Callaspo (2.7), and Mark Trumbo (2.4). It was a good offense, especially in the sense that they didn’t give a lot of at-bats to any player who was really bad. That might seem easy to do, but the lots of clubs gave 300 plus at bats to replacement level guys.
On the mound, the Angels disappointed. Jered Weaver (3.0) an CJ Wilson (2.5) were the only guys to top 2.0, but the Zach Greinke (1.8 in 13 starts) trade did help. What didn’t help, was Ervin Santana (-0.9). Yup, that’s a minus sign. He made 30 starts.
This was a team that should have pitched better and pitched them into the playoffs. That didn’t happen and they ended up missing by four games. They started slow and never recovered.
But there was Mike Trout. He was baseball’s best player in 2012 and it was hard not to enjoy that. He’ll have company in 2013 because the Angels added Josh Hamilton on a big contract and revamped their pitching staff. They didn’t necessarily do it well, but they gave it a shot.
But they lost Hunter and Greinke and Haren. So that might be a wash. At any rate, this is a good team, but I’m not sure it’s a great one.
2012 Grade: B
Early 2013 Projection: 89-73