12. Los Angeles Angels – The team with a once in a generation talent doesn’t really have too many supporting players around him to make a dominant team. They have the worst farm system in the MLB and I can’t see them making anymore trades; so no reinforcements are coming, this is the team they’ll have all season. After Trout the two best hitters on this team are Albert Pujols, a first ballot hall of fame career but with his best years behind him, and Kole Calhoun, only an above average hitter and a name spelling nightmare. This team doesn’t have any depth and I have trouble seeing anyone on the current lineup breaking out or improving too much on their previous year, but the rotation is where I see the most room for growth. Garrett Richards wasn’t 100% percent last year and he was worth double the WAR just the year prior, I still see ace potential in him. Andrew Heaney has the pedigree and showed enough promise last year that it wouldn’t surprise me to see him as a top of the rotation starter soon. Jumble together the rest of the potential starters the Angels have available and I see something resembling a strong rotation. It should help that they have one of the best defensive shortstops now in Simmons. Mike Trout hasn’t been talented enough to carry this team to the playoffs every year, but he should be good enough to carry them within shooting distance, again. If he ever got injured this team would be in hell.
Special thanks to contributing writer James Boyce.
World Series Preview
So it comes down to the Giants vs the Royals – the masters of the even year vs an 8-game win streak – both have the “team of destiny” thing about them – and both are teams I like. On the one hand, the Royals haven’t won in 29 years, so it would be nice to see them win. On the other, the Giants got this even year thing going and it would be neat to see them continue it. The Royals have been playing some exciting baseball, at the plate and on the field – hitting, stealing, bunting, and catching everything. Their pitching has been solid, their starters just OK, but their bullpen has been lights out. The Giants, well, they just keep finding unusual ways to score runs and win – in 18 innings without hits, by errors, by wild pitches, etc. My favorite player in the World Series is Madison Bumgarner (who reminds me a little of Sid the Sloth from Ice Age). A distant second is probably Buster Posey. My favorite player on the Royals is probably Wade Davis, fantasy beast. I’d rather have him than Wil Myers right now.
Who I want to win the AL
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Oakland Athletics
3. LA Angels
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Detroit Tigers
17. Kansas City Royals
And they’ll never be royal (royal). It only runs in their blood…and is their actual team name. Apparently the Royals inspired Lorde to write her hit song Royals. I guess we’ve just witnessed Billy Butler’s peak performance over the past two years, it doesn’t look like he’s going to overcome his personal mountain of 2 stolen bases a season. We’re all rooting for ya Billy…I’m still in disbelief he managed any. It must be bittersweet for Royals fans to see Wil Myers play so well for the Rays when they only got a short-term rental on James Shields…and I guess Wade Davis too. Honestly if the Rays were interested in any of my teams prospects, that prospect would become a whole lot more interesting for me. I’d just have the Rays come look at my organization and see who they wanted, then that’s how I’ll figure out whose good on my team. I have a lot of respect for Royals fans, this team has been bad for longer than I can remember. And as much as ESPN and Cardinals fans want you to believe that they have the best fans, a notion that’s ridiculous to begin with, but if I’m going to believe this facade I would nominate Royal fans being the best. There are no bandwagon fans here…and I don’t think there ever will be. Like it’s really tough to be a Cardinals fan when they always make the right decision. Royals fans just saw a future star traded away and attendance went way up because the organization was desperately trying to get wins. And it worked. This is the true underdog and I hope they do their best.