Is Pujols enough to put the Halos atop the AL West? It is going to take more than just the best hitter over the last decade. With aging Hunter and Abreu the Angels show no real middle of the order threats this year. They have super-hyped prospect Mike Trout who will mature into a true 5 tool player but not at 20 years old. The Los Angeles ,Anaheim, California Angels will sell a ton of tickets, cash in on a new TV contract and run out a great rotation every night but they will still be lucky to qualify for the new 5th playoff team this year.
Ervin Santana – SP
After a superb breakout year in 2008 he dealt with elbow issues in 09’ then recovered in 2010. In 2011 he enjoyed his best year to date. A 3.38 ERA with 178 Ks. Though he is probably the 3rd best starter on his team he can still anchor your squad this year. His fastball is back at speeds when he broke in and his pin point accuracy is also back on track. He was able to post a BABIP that was .272 and a tad lower than league average. He was also able to post a career best 76.6% LOB%. I feel these were achieved by flipping his ground ball rate with his fly ball rate. If he keeps that trend in check he will be a great pick up in AL only leagues and very usable in mixed leagues. My projections are as follows: 13W, 3.71ERA, 1.22WHIP with 160K.
Kendrys Morales-1B DH
We all know about the jumping on home plate broken ankle injury. It has turned into the greatest minor ankle break in the history of medicine. Nearly 2 years later he is starting baseball activities. That’s great for a player that now may not have a position to play. With Trumbo, Pujols, Abreu and Morales all to share time at 1B and DH it looks as though Morales and Abreu lose the most ABs this year. If you remember Morales has only 1 full MLB season under his belt. It was a good year; 86R 34HR 108RBI and hitting .308 but that was pre Pujols and pre injury. I expect the Angels to bring him on slowly in his rehab so there are no setbacks which again means limited ABs in 2012. Best case scenario is for the Angels to trade him to another AL team looking for a DH. That best case scenario is slim to none and slim just left the building. Let some other manager in your league draft him this year and watch that team struggle to find the playing time needed to be fantasy relevant. My projections for him are as follows: 60R 23HR 71 RBI while hitting .298 if he can get 450 ABs and Scioscia wants to play him at all.