Los Angeles Angels: 5 Angels Who Have Kept the Angels' Postseason Hopes Alive
As the Los Angeles Angels head into the bulk of their interleague schedule, they sit at a mediocre 29-29 record. Their .500 record has them four games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West and 3.5 games behind the final wild-card spot.
This season began with so much fanfare over Albert Pujols' arrival, but so far has been somewhat of a disappointment. But the team is still within striking distance of a playoff berth.
A few unexpected faces have stepped up to keep the Angels afloat. Here are five players that have exceeded expectations.
Everybody assumed that super prospect Mike Trout would become a star eventually. But, after struggling as a teenager in his first call up last year, it seemed like he was still a work in progress.
What a difference a year makes. At age 20, Trout has already become one of the best five tool players in all of baseball.
Trout has combined superb defense with a .329 average, .924 OPS, 5 home runs, and 22 RBI's.
Since being called up at the end of April, Trout has helped spark a sometimes anemic Angels offense.
Mark Trumbo had already made a name for himself in 2011, earning second place in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. But with a sub-.300 OBP in 2011, many wrote him off as a future star.
Armed with a more disciplined batting eye, Trumbo has become the star few expected him to be. Trumbo leads the Angels in all major statistical categories, boasting a .337 average, 12 home runs, and 31 RBI's.
Trumbo was pushed out of the first base position by Albert Pujols.
But it was Trumbo who helped the Angels survive Albert Pujols' miserable start to the season.
Jered Weaver is undoubtedly the team's ace, but Wilson has had a fantastic first season as a Halo.
Overshadowed by Pujols' arrival, Wilson has been the team's greatest free agent acquisition thus far. He's pitched phenomenally all season, and is finally starting to earn wins now that he's received more run support.
He's more than picked up the slack during Weaver's recent stint on the disabled list, seamlessly slipping into the role of number one starter.
Overall, Wilson is 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA for the season.
Jerome Williams is certainly the least flashy of all the team's starters. But he's added stability to the bottom of the Angels rotation.
In his second year as an Angel, Williams is tied with Wilson and Weaver with six wins.
His 4.02 ERA isn't going to blow anyone away, but he's pitched surprisingly well for a fifth starter.
Fellow reliever Scott Downs could definitely make an argument for being on this list, but Ernesto Frieri's ascendancy has been more surprising.
Frieri started off 2012 as a little known reliever for the San Diego Padres. But after being acquired by the Angels on May 3, he has been sensational, failing to allow a single run.
His role as co-closer with Downs has effectively locked down the 9th inning for the Halos, substantially strengthening the team's bullpen.