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2018 MLB Preview: Los Angeles Angels

A look at the Los Angeles Angels with fantasy baseball in mind.

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates his solo home run in the first inning with Justin Upton #9 against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 10, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Basic Stats:

Final Record: 80-82
Runs: 22nd
Home Runs: 24th
Stolen Bases: 1st
ERA: 12th
Saves: 9th
Strikeouts: 15th

With the acquisition of Justin Upton and the emergence of Andrelton Simmons, the Angels are no longer a 1 player team. Sure Mike Trout is still the man in LA, but he now has some legit sidekicks. The Angels led all of baseball with 136 stolen bases. 3 of their top 5 base stealers are no longer on the team. Cameron Maybin(29), Ben Revere(21), and Eric Young Jr.(12) are those 3 players.

The pitching stats surprised me. Who would have guessed a Ricky Nolasco led pitching staff would finish inside the top half of the league in ERA and Strikeouts? LA also had a bullpen that featured 5 pitchers with a K/9 north of 9.7 (3 with a K/9 over 10.5). This group produced the 9th most saves in baseball. Unfortunately, no individual RP had more than 19 saves. Bud Norris, the owner of those 19 saves, is no longer on the team. The closer’s role for the Angels will be a big talking point heading into 2018. Speaking of...

Let’s take a look towards 2018.

The Superstar: Mike Trout

Do you really need an explanation?

The Sleeper: Andrelton Simmons

Simmons finished 2017 as the #99 overall player in fantasy. He had career highs in runs (77), hits (164), RBI (69), and SB (19). He also had 38 doubles which was tied for 16th in baseball. His solid 1.43 K/BB ratio makes his super safe in batting average. He’s hitting .280 over his two seasons with the Angels. The big jump in stolen bases is the big takeaway from 2017. Simmons has 29 SB in two seasons with the Angels after having just 16 SB over 4 years with the Braves. A quick reminder that Simmons had 54 SB over 237 games in the minors. I think Simmons has a chance to be better in 2018 with a better lineup around him. Even if he just repeats his 2017, Simmons is a top 100 overall player who probably won’t be drafted until the 150 range.

The Guy to Avoid: Justin Upton

Let me start off by saying I actually like Upton in 2018. Coming off a season with 35 HR 109 RBI 14 SB and a .273 average, Upton actually is moving to a better team with the Angels. The problem might be in his draft day value. Upton finished 2017 as the #28 overall player and #11 outfielder in fantasy. He significantly out performed his ADP of 75th overall. I have a feeling his ADP in 2018 is going to be 30th-40th overall. At that value, you are drafting him to repeat his tremendous 2017. I don’t think he can repeat his 2017 production. I look more to the 3 year averages with Upton. This would make his 2018 more of a .256 average with 31 HR 92 RBI 14 SB. Still a great player, but the batting average decline has the potential to make the counting stats suffer even more.

The Prospect To Watch: N/A

The Angels have no prospects inside the top 100 of MLB Pipeline. I don’t see any players currently in the Angels farm system that will make a fantasy impact in 2018.