It's that time of year folks! Just before Spring Training fans are bombarded with how well they think certain players will do in the upcoming year. We here at LAAI are no different. Though this is an Angels-centric blog, we've done our best to put biases aside in order to offer you the most reasonable outlook possible. All predictions will be compared to the ZIPS projections which tend to sell the Angels short annually but at this point in time are still the best statistical projections on the market.
2011 Performance – 112 Games .238/.370 17 DB 14 HR
2012 ZIPS Projection - Unavailable
2012 Prediction – 125 Games .230/.360 16 DB 13 HR
When it comes down to it, I’m just not convinced Chris Iannetta is going to be a good offensive catcher. His numbers away from Coors Field were horrendous last season. Having said that, he’s still going to hit 60 points higher than Mathis with a good OBP and have some power, so that .230 batting average will actually be a breath of fresh air.
First Base/Designated Hitter
2011 Performance – 147 Games .299/.366 29 DB 37 HR
2012 ZIPS Projection - Unavailable
2012 Prediction – 155 Games .309/.400 41 DB 37 HR
The Machine actually had a down year in 2011, dealing with injuries and a very cold beginning of the season. I expect he’ll come ready to contribute and won’t find Angel Stadium’s Marine Layer a major obstacle. Having DH open to rest his legs should help keep him fresh and we’ll see a typical Albert Pujols season.
2011 Performance – Did not play
2012 ZIPS Projections - 87 Games .274/.321 17 DB 14 HR
2012 Prediction – 120 Games .280/.330 25 DB 23 HR
I expect Morales to miss some time, whether it be due to injury or Mike Scioscia playing Bobby Abreu/Maicer Izturis over him is up in the air.
2011 Performance – 149 Games .254/.291 31 DB 29 HR
2012 ZIPS Projection - 156 Games .253/.295 30 DB 25 HR
2012 Prediction – 80 Games .250/.310 12 DB 14 HR
Trumbo should be able to log some games at 1B, 3B, DH and the corner OF spots, but it still appears he will not have a full featured role in the lineup. The Angels will more than likely use him predominantly against LHP until he gives manager Mike Scioscia no choice but to find a spot for him against RHP.
2011 Performance – 140 Games .285/.338 30 DB 18 HR 14 SB
2012 ZIPS Projection - 145 Games .275/.320 31 DB 15 HR 15 SB
2012 Prediction – 140 Games .286/.340 35 DB 17 HR 10 SB
Common sense suggests the Angels will bat Howie Kendrick in front of Pujols and he will see a steady diet of fastballs in an effort to avoid putting a runner on base. However it doesn’t seem as though the Cardinals #2 hitters fared any better than they would have in other spots of the lineup so I think Pujols’ presence will aid Kendrick minimally. I think Howie has matured as a hitter and will hit more doubles and homeruns than in previous years, but hitting in front of Pujols will more than likely cut down on his opportunities to steal bases.
2011 Performance - 143 Games .279/.322 30 DB 8 triples 10 HR 30 SB
2012 ZIPS Projection - 145a .275/.320 27 DB 8 triples 7 HR 24 SB
2012 Prediction – 140 Games .283/.325 31 9 triples DB 11 HR 25 SB
Aybar’s never going to post a high OBP unless he hits well over .300, but he has developed into a switch hitter that’s more than a slapper. He has significant gap power and can stretch doubles into triples which decreases the amount of doubles you’d expect to see from a hitter of Aybar’s type. While he’s learned to read a pitcher and get good jumps, I don’t expect he’ll steal as much with Pujols hitting 3rd.
2011 Performance – 122 Games .276/.334 35 DB 5 HR 9 SB
2012 ZIPS Projection - 103 Games .268/.327 23 DB 5 HR 9 SB
2012 Prediction – 80 Games .270/.330 20 DB 5 HR 8 SB
Izturis is one of those ultra valuable insurance policies that every team needs. He’s good enough to be a full time starter for a quite a few teams, but frail enough to never actually play full time. I expect Maicer will turn in his usual performance in 2012. His future with the team however may depend upon if Aybar signs with another team in free agency. If he does then the Angels may want to keep Izturis around to handle SS until prospect Jean Segura is ready. If Aybar stays with the Angels then it seems probable that Alexi Amarista would be given the opportunity to fill Izturis’ utility role.
2011 Performance – 125 Games Started .288/.366 23 DB 6 HR
2102 ZIPS Projection - 143 Games .276/.334 25 DB 8 HR
2012 Prediction – 125 Games Started .293/.373 30 DB 10 HR
Callaspo is one of the most under-appreciated players on the Angels roster by fans, but his performance certainly will not go unnoticed by new General Manager Jerry Dipoto, who places a particular emphasis on players with high OBP. Last season Alberto didn’t have the same pop he displayed in Kansas City, but I’m guessing this was more of a fluke and that his XBH will return to a more respectable level in 2012.
For more player projections, tune into fellow Angels blogger Garrett Wilson who is the head writer at monkeywithahalo.com.
Scotty Allen is the senior columnist at LAAI and a correspondent for The Outside Corner. You can find him on twitter @ScottyA_LAAI