- Final Record: 80-82
- RS/G: 4.45 (15th)
- RA/G: 4.46 (18th)
- SB: 89 (11th)
- ERA: 4.15 (19th)
- Saves: 35 (26th)
- Strikeouts: 1386 (15th)
(RS/G - Runs Scored Per Game, RA/G - Runs Allowed Per Game)
The Los Angeles Angels have been attempting to add talent to their roster this offseason. There’s a chance the team is coming towards the end of their Mike Trout window and they’re hoping to make a push deep into the postseason before his potential free agency. While the team is likely to continue to tinker with the roster over the coming months, the time to preview the 2019 roster has come. Their additions have already helped to bump their projected 2019 win/loss record to 84-78.
The Superstar: Mike Trout
No surprise here, as Mike Trout has been one of the best players in baseball for years at this point. While some still debate whether Trout is the only option as the first overall pick in fantasy baseball, my mind is clearly made up that he is. Others may have outperformed Trout in recent seasons, but the across-the-board production he provides, whether ranked as the absolute best at the end of the fantasy season, or merely a Top 10 finish, provides your roster with an immediate advantage. Steamer has Trout projected for a 40/20 season with a .300 batting average. Don’t overthink it.
The Sleeper: Ty Buttrey
Acquired in the Ian Kinsler deal, Buttrey is currently projected to serve as the team’s closer in 2019. With months to go until the season begins and some closer-worthy arms still available on the free agent market, this suggestion is subject to change. Skill-wise, Buttrey has swing and miss stuff and velocity. Furthermore, Buttrey has shown the ability to keep the ball on the ground. Considering all of this, plus the other options available in the Los Angeles pen, Buttrey is a solid saves speculation piece. Buttrey’s current NFBC ADP is 306th overall.
The Guy to Avoid: Jonathan Lucroy
Once the top catcher off the board, Lucroy’s skills have been sliding for a few years now. What is strange about Lucroy’s decline is that his plate skills have remained relatively intact. Instead, his ability to hit the ball with any sort of authority is the driving factor behind his demise. After posting a .208 ISO in 2016 (24 home runs), Lucroy’s ISO has fallen to .106 in 2017 & .084 in 2018. Sure, he’ll make for a fine second catcher and his current NFBC ADP of 328th overall is hardly prohibitive, but he won’t be a target of mine. The love is gone.
The Prospect to Watch: Matt Thaiss
Thaiss was selected 16th overall in the 2016 June Amateur Draft by the Angels. At 6’0” and 200 lbs, the left-handed hitting first baseman has a chance to debut with the big league club in 2019. Thaiss split the 2018 season between Double-A and Triple-A, with the majority of his playing time coming at the Triple-A level (400 plate appearances). Over those trips to the plate, Thaiss slashed .277/.328/.457 with 10 home runs and six stolen bases. The Angels currently have Justin Bour, who was released earlier this offseason by the Phillies, tabbed as their strong-side platoon first baseman. Bour is hardly the type of player who would block a former first round pick, assuming Thaiss performs in the minors early on this season. As a free (NFBC ADP 729) corner infield option, Thaiss is worth at least taking a flier on as your final selection in draft & hold formats.