2012 fantasy baseball preview of the Los Angeles Angels. Includes position breakdowns, player analysis, and fantasy baseball expectations.
Hoping to add some offensive punch to the catcher position, the Angels brought in the home run hitting potential of Chris Iannetta for the 2012 season. However after spending his entire career in Colorado, Iannetta is only a career .208 hitter away from Coors Field, so there is definitely no guarantee that Iannetta will live up to his offensive potential in Los Angeles. Backing up Iannetta will be the young 23 year old Hank Conger, who also offers solid power hitting potential. If all goes right for Iannetta, he could tally 10-15 home runs, while ranking as a possible top 15 catcher in fantasy baseball leagues in 2012.
First Base (1B)
With Albert Pujols signed, there will be zero first base controversy in the Angels’ lineup this season. However the Angels do have two other very good first basemen who deserve playing time in Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales, both of whom will likely see playing time at DH if healthy. Pujols should continue to put up his typical monster stats, with 40 home runs, 100 plus RBI, and a .300 plus batting average easily within reach for him in 2012.
Second Base (2B)
Finally breaking out with a solid offensive showing last season, Howie Kendrick enters the 2012 season as one of the cornerstones in the Angels’ lineup. The second base job is all Kendrick’s, as he should once again rack up between 15-20 home runs while also tallying around 15 stolen bases. There is no doubt that Kendrick should be considered a top 10 second basemen in fantasy baseball leagues entering the 2012 season.
Third Base (3B)
The starting third base job will likely be the most contested starting spot in the Angels’ lineup to begin the 2012 season, as incumbent starter Alberto Callaspo will have to fight off the power hitting Mark Trumbo for playing time. For fantasy baseball purposes, if Mark Trumbo can play third base, he could easily become a top 5 third basemen in fantasy baseball leagues in 2012, as Trumbo could potentially hit 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
Breaking out with a great overall showing both on offense and defense last season, Erick Aybar will enter the 2012 season as the undisputed starting shortstop in the Angels’ lineup. Another season of 30 stolen bases is easily within reach for Aybar in 2012.
Combining a mixture of old and young, the Angels outfield has plenty of options entering the 2012 season. With veterans Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells likely to get near everyday playing time as the corner outfielders, the ultimate competition with be between the young Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout in center field. For fantasy baseball purposes, both Bourjos and Trout offer the higher fantasy baseball potential over both Wells and Hunter entering the 2012 season.
Starting Pitchers (SP)
With two ace caliber starting pitchers in Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, combined with two excellent front line starting pitchers in Ervin Santana and the newly signed CJ Wilson, the Angels’ starting pitching staff is poised to be a dominate force in fantasy baseball leagues in 2012. All four of these starters have 15 win potential, with Weaver offering 20 win potential.
Relief Pitchers (RP)
Rookie Jordan Walden solidified his role as the Angels’ closer last season, and he should enter the 2012 season as a top 15 ranked relief pitcher in fantasy baseball leagues. With zero closer controversy for the Angels entering the 2012 season, Walden should be in line for 35-40 saves and a sub 3.00 ERA in 2012.
Minor League Prospects & Rookies
Mike Trout – OF
After playing in just 40 games and tallying 123 at bats in the Angels’ lineup last season, Trout will still have his rookie eligibility in tack for the 2012 season. As one of the top prospects in the minor leagues the last three seasons, Trout will have a great opportunity to take over as the Angels’ starting center fielder in 2012.
Garrett Richards – SP
After establishing himself as the Angels’ top minor league starting pitcher in 2011, Richards has a chance to take over as the Angels’ #5 starting pitcher in 2012.
Trevor Reckling – SP
Once considered a top starting pitching prospect in the Angels’ minor league system, Reckling endured a terrible 2010 season and then managed to bounce back with a better showing in 2011. Entering the 2012 season having played 5 seasons in the minors, Reckling at age 22 could be poised to make his major league debut for the Angels this season. Likely starting the 2012 season at Triple A, Reckling could earn a mid-season call up to the Angels’ lineup with a solid start to his minor league season.