MLB Preview 2011: Los Angeles Angels

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MLB Preview 2011: Los Angeles Angels
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9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series.

The second preview we are giving you today is the 2011 preview of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who are looking to climb back on top of the American League West division.

The Angels had a disappointing 2010 campaign, as they were favorites to win the AL West until the Rangers snagged LHP Cliff Lee from Seattle near the middle of the season.

The Angels finished the year in third, behind Texas and Oakland, with an 80-82 record. Los Angeles lost a lot during the 2009 free agency, including Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Chone Figgins and Darren Oliver. They were all key parts of the 2009 ALCS run.

The Angels also had some turmoil during the season when slugger Kendry Morales tore his ACL after hitting a walk-off home run and celebrating around the bases. Morales finished with 11 home runs, 38 RBI and a batting average of .290.

LA had a topsy turvy season, and they also almost lost big in free agency this season.

The Angels lost out on two big free agents, OF Carl Crawford, who signed with Boston and LHP Cliff Lee, who landed in Philadelphia. The only big acquisition they got was Vernon Wells from Toronto, who they acquired for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli.

I think the Angels will finish third in the West again this season, as they really didn’t do anything this year to improve the team.

Key Addition: Vernon Wells, OF

Breakout Player: Peter Bourjos, OF

Prediction: Third AL West

Starters

CA: Jeff Mathis
1B: Kendry Morales
2B: Howie Kendrick
3B: Maicer Izturis
SS: Erick Aybar
OF: Peter Bourjos
OF: Torii Hunter
OF: Vernon Wells
DH: Bobby Abreu

 

Pitching Rotation

SP: Jered Weaver
SP: Dan Haren
SP: Ervin Santana
SP: Joel Pineiro
SP: Scott Kazmir

RP: Bobby Cassevah
RP: Rich Thompson
RP: Hisanori Takahashi
RP: Jordan Walden
RP: Kevin Jepsen
RP: Scott Downs
CP: Fernando Rodney

 

Bench

CA: Bobby Wilson
UTL: Mark Trumbo
INF: Albert Callaspo
OF: Reggie Willits

 

Top Prospects

1). Mike Trout, OF
2). Tyler Chatwood, RHP
3). Jordan Walden, RHP
4). Hank Conger, CA
5). Jean Segura, 2B

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