After yet another busy offseason—one that saw the additions of Josh Hamilton, and a revamped bullpen—the Los Angeles Angels have pieced together (at a price) a roster that could challenge the dominant Angels' teams from the late 2000s and…dare I say, even the 2002 World Series team.
Armed with three possible MVP candidates (Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton) anchoring a solid lineup, and a Cy Young candidate on the hill (Jered Weaver), it’s difficult to see why they wouldn’t.
But is this 2013 roster worthy of being labeled the best team in franchise history?
Although it’s really early in the year—I usually like to wait until pitchers and catchers start to MapQuest directions to their respective camps before predicting anything—this team does have certain abilities (on paper) that can stand atop the organization’s hierarchy of great teams.
True, it will be difficult to give them a complete “bill of greatness” with their starting rotation being such an unknown, but if we are talking about the “best team,” specific areas don’t really matter; it’s about the collective effort towards domination.
However, it does mean that most of the possible historical importance will be provided via the offense. And anything short of a title in 2013 would erase whatever statistical achievements the team accomplishes, which leaves the 2002 Angels' team—99 wins and a World Series ring—as the bench mark for success in 2013 (or any season for that matter).
With that in mind, armed with 50-plus years of statistical surplus, let’s take a look at several record-high marks the 2013 team has a chance to break, while competing for supremacy against the 2002 squad.
(All stats provided came via baseball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.)