Angels had a tumultuous season and failed all expectations. They finished 3rd in their division behind Texas and Oakland and were so far off from a wild card spot it was embarrassing. They do have quite a few intriguing fantasy options. Let's take a look at their top 5 candidates.
1. Mike Trout
No questions here. Mike Trout is the undisputed #1 player in fantasy. Trout finished the season with a .323 AVG, 27 HR, 97 RBI, 109 R, and 33 SB. He is the definition of a five tool player. It's a scary thought, but Trout is only 22 years old. Trout has been in the bigs for two seasons now (only 40 games played in 2011), and he has finished behind Miguel Cabrera in the AL MVP race two years in a row. I think it's safe to say we will be seeing Trout hoist that MVP trophy sooner rather than later. Trout won the Rookie of the Year in 2012, finishing well ahead of runner-up Yoenis Cespedes. He can also add two straight Silver Slugger awards to his mantle. As if all that wasn't impressive enough, Trout also had the best WAR in the AL two years in a row, most runs scored in the AL two years in a row, and last year he drew the most walks (110) in the AL. Last year, Trout had the second best OBP behind Cabrera, fourth best Slugging%, third overall in Total Bases, second most triples, and his 33 stolen bases were good enough for 8th overall in the AL. If you have the #1 pick in your league, there's no question who you should take.
2. Jered Weaver
Weaver had a pretty good season with a 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 117 K's, and an 11-8 record. In the past three years we have been used to seeing Weaver post lower ERA and WHIP numbers, along with a few more wins. However, the Angels were not what we expected them to be after a season full of hope. Weaver was coming off one of his best seasons in 2012 where he posted a 20-5 record with a 2.81 ERA and 1.018 WHIP. He was first in the AL in both WIN% (80%) and wins (20), tied with David Price in both categories. His 2.81 ERA was good for third best in the AL behind Verlander (2.64) and Price (2.56). His WHIP was the best in the AL and he also had the lowest Hits Per 9IP in the AL (7.012). Weaver finished third in Cy Young voting, and the year before he finished second in Cy Young voting. I believe we will see Weaver back to his best this season, draft him with confidence.
Some may question this ranking, but I firmly believe Hamilton will have a bounce back year and be the dominant hitter we knew back in Texas. Hamilton finished the year hitting .250, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 73 R and 4 SB. We're used to seeing Josh bat over .280. with 25+ HR, 100 RBI, and 80+ R. In his second year with Anaheim, I think he will get back to those numbers. Hamilton's 73 runs was his lowest total since 2009, his 21 home runs was also his lowest since 2009, 79 RBI was his lowest since 2009, his 4 stolen bases was his lowest since 2007 (but he didn't get caught once! first time ever! silver lining woohoo!), his paltry .250 AVG was his lowest EVER, his .307 OBP was his lowest EVER, .432 slugging% was his lowest since 2009 (clearly 2009 was not kind to Josh), and his .739 OPS was his lowest EVER. Now that his worst season is out of the way, he has nowhere to go but up! Hamilton will likely fall pretty far and could end up being a great value pick. Just ask me, I drafted Hamilton with the last pick in the 10th round in our #earlymock14 draft. Adding him to my outfield stable of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Will Venable who I drafted in the 17th round, I believe is fantastic value.
4. Mark Trumbo
Trumbo is all power. And he has a lot of it. He blasted 34 HR's with 100 RBI's last year while posting a .234 AVG. He should be a solid source of R, RBI and HR for your team and might not be the "Sexy" pick but he certainly gets the job done. Trumbo finished behind Jeremy Hellickson in the 2011 AL ROY voting and we have seen him improve his R, RBI and HR totals every year since then. Unfortunately, his AVG took a huge dump last year. In 2011 his AVG was .254, he improved that in 2012 finishing with .268 AVG, but last years .234 AVG is definitely something fantasy owners do not want to see again. We saw him improve his R, RBI and HR every year since his rookie campaign, but he also saw an increase in strikeouts every year afterwards. His rookie season he finished with 120 strikeouts, 2012 he had 153 and last year, he finished with 184 strikeouts. Trumbo clearly has a lot of work to do on his plate discipline and if he can fix that, while continuing to mash the ball, his value will undoubtedly increase. His defense as a 1B also needs work, he had the most errors committed by a 1B in the AL last year with 8 errors. In 2011 he had the second most errors committed by a 1B with 10, luckily for him, Miguel Cabrera was still playing 1B at the time and he had 13 errors.
5. C.J. Wilson
C.J. Wilson went 17-7 last year with a 3.39 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 188 K's. He's a nice back end rotation guy to round out your SP. Wilson should be good for at least 15 wins, 3.25 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 184 K's. C.J. went in the 18th round in our #earlymock14 which is an absolute steal, in my opinion. I can't envision a scenario where he falls that far come March. Wilson's 17 wins was tied for 3rd best in the AL with Tampa's Matt Moore, only Bartolo Colon (18) and Max Scherzer (21) had more.
Do you agree with these rankings? Is there someone you think should be on this list that isn't? Let your voice be heard in the comments or on twitter.
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