Albert Pujols. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, CJ Wilson, and Ervin Santana. Mike Scioscia. 4 Gold glove winners on D (should be 5). No more Jeff Mathis. Mike Trout as a super sub. One of the best Set-up/Closer duo's in the Majors. Mark Trumbo entering his 2nd year. Peter Borjous entering his 2nd full season. Kendry Morales coming back.
The Angels are loaded. They might be the most COMPLETE team in the majors. Offense, Defense, and Pitching.
Of course it all starts with Albert Pujols. He was what the Angels were missing last year. Mark Trumbo lead the Angels in HR's and RBI as a rookie last year, they needed to add Power and intimidation in the middle of that line-up, and they definitely added that in Albert Pujols.
It's not just Pujols in that line-up though. If he hits 3rd, imagine all the fastballs Howie Kendrick is going to get. .320 is not an unreasonable expectation for Howie if Pujols does end up hitting 3rd. And if Pujols hits 4th, expect Torii Hunter to have a major bounce back year.
You also have Mark Trumbo, who has 50 Home Run POTENTIAL. He'll probably hit 30-40 this year behind Pujols for some protection. He'll probably hot .250-.265, and he's a really free swinger, but he hits the ball as far as anyone. And now he'll have Albert Pujols to observe and model his game around. Big things are very possible.
The real wild card in this is Kendry Morales. IF he comes back, and IF he's as good as he was when he left than the Angels line-up looks pretty scary.
Peter Borjous- .270+, 10-15 Homers, 30-40+ steals.
Howie Kendrick- .295+, 10+ Homers
Torii Hunter- .300+, 20+ Homers
Albert Pujols- .300+, 40+ Homers
Mark Trumbo- .250+, 30+ Homers
Kendry Morales- .275+, 30-35 Homers*
Vernon Wells- .250, 20-25 Homers
Erick Aybar- .260+, 5-10 Homers, 30+ Steals
Chris Ianetta- .250, 10-15+ Homers, .350+ OBP
Maybe not Murderers row, but here's the beauty of it. They don't have to be, because they have the best pitching staff in the AL.
Jered Weaver- For all the love and hype surrounding Justin Verlander, many people forget that Weaver's ERA was only .01 point(s?) worse. Yeah.
Dan Haren- He'll have an ERA around 3.20 and he'll eat innings.
CJ Wilson- He had an ERA under 3 last year, pitching in Arlington. Now he goes to much more of a pitchers stadium. He has a good chance at replacing Haren as the #2.
Ervin Santana- He has the best stuff on this staff, can be absolutely filthy and he looked like he finally put it together in the 2nd half of last year. If he actually put it together, then he will be dominant.
Jerome Williams/Garret Richards- Williams could be a solid #5. He forces grounders and punds the strike zone. Richards has #1 stuff, if he develops right, he could be a very good pitcher.
The Bull-pen is pretty good. Scott Downs was the best set-up man last year, and Walden had a very good rookie year closing games out. They have innings 8 and 9 solved. They signed Latroy Hawkins, they have Takahashi, Thompson, and Cassevah looked decent last year. And they've been rumored to be after Darren Oliver. Pretty good, maybe not the best, but pretty much everyone would be fine with having a Bull-pen like that.
And to put it all together, you have Mike Scioscia, the best Manager in the game.
Are they a lock, no, but for the next 5 years, they are serious contenders.