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Los Angeles Angels 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout

Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout

The Los Angeles Angels are entering a new era: After 19 seasons, Mike Scioscia will no longer be the manager. In 39 years before Scioscia became their manager, the Angels averaged 76.6 wins per full season, had only 12 winning seasons and made the playoffs three times (without winning a series). In 19 seasons under Scioscia, the Angels averaged 86.8 wins, had 12 winning seasons, made the playoffs seven times and won the franchise’s only World Series title (2002). The challenge now shifts to new manager Brad Ausmus to make the most out of a roster that includes baseball’s best player (Mike Trout) and its most unique (Shohei Ohtani) but probably not enough pitching to be more than a fringe contender.

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Angels

“The Angels have three reasons to make you watch every night: Mike Trout’s brilliance, Andrelton Simmons’ defense and Shohei Ohtani’s all-around skills [even though he won’t pitch this season]. Trout is so talented that we sometimes forget how great his instincts are — he’s almost never caught stealing; he’s up there with Joey Votto in terms of plate discipline; and last season was his best on defense in a while. The Angels can’t tear down while Trout is here, but they also refused to move aggressively to solidify their pitching. Do they really think they can win with Andrew Heaney, Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill? They’ll hit some home runs, with Justin Upton, Trout and Ohtani, who scorches everything and runs like hell. But Kole Calhoun took a big step back; Albert Pujols would be long gone if not for that endless contract; and they’ve got major questions at catcher and second base. It’ll be interesting to see how Brad Ausmus has evolved as a manager; he was a hot commodity before taking the Tigers job.”

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Beyond the Box Score

Grab a Bat Despite a platelet-rich plasma injection and significant down time in 2018, two-way star Shohei Ohtani was unable to avoid Tommy John surgery. He underwent the procedure on Oct. 1 and will not pitch again until 2020. However, he is expected to be available to perform as a hitter for most of the 2019 season. How soon into the season he will be ready to hit remains to be determined. “Everything is going well,” Ohtani said early in the offseason. “We are right on schedule, maybe even ahead. I’m excited with where I’m at.”

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Elite Glove

Andrelton Simmons’ status as one of the top defensive players in baseball was further cemented in 2018 when he won both a Gold Glove Award and the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Gold Glove is the 29-year-old shortstop’s fourth (second in a row with the Angels), and the Wilson award is his fifth in six full big league seasons. He also won a sixth consecutive Fielding Bible Award for his defense at shortstop.

Breaking Down Albert Pujols has three years and $87 million left on the mega-contract he signed with the Angels in December 2011, but it is increasingly questionable whether he will be able to play out the remainder of that deal. Pujols (who will turn 39 in January) has broken down physically on an annual basis. His 2018 season ended with left knee surgery in late August. He also had surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow and an injection to treat tendinitis in his right elbow. 

Stadium Talk The Angels’ ongoing cat-and-mouse game with the city of Anaheim over their stadium reached a new level in October 2018 when the team beat a deadline to opt out of its lease with the city. The decision allows the Angels to leave Angel Stadium (its home since 1966) following the 2019 season. The more likely outcome is the team and city work out a new lease agreement that would include funding for renovations. But owner Arte Moreno has left open the possibility that he would move the team if a new stadium could be built at a different location.

Will He Re-sign? A countdown clock is ticking: Can the Angels become competitive enough fast enough to convince Mike Trout to sign an extension before he can become a free agent following the 2020 season? Moreno acknowledges it is a high-priority item. “Sometimes you have things on the back of your mind and sometimes you have things on the front of your mind,” Moreno says. “That’s one of those things that’s always on the front of your mind.”

Projected Lineup


RF   Kole Calhoun (L)
CF   Mike Trout (R)
LF    Justin Upton (R) 
1B   Albert Pujols (R)
DH  Shohei Ohtani (L)
SS   Andrelton Simmons (R) 
C    Jonathan Lucroy (R)    
3B  Zack Cozart (R)
2B  David Fletcher (R)


C    Kevan Smith (R)
1B  Justin Bour (L)
OF  Peter Bourjos (R)
INF Tommy La Stella (L)


LHP  Tyler Skaggs
LHP  Andrew Heaney
RHP  Matt Harvey
RHP  Trevor Cahill
RHP  Jaime Barria


RHP  Cody Allen (C)

RHP  Ty Buttrey 
RHP  Cam Bedrosian
RHP  Hansel Robles
RHP  Justin Anderson
RHP  Luis Garcia
RHP  Noe Ramirez


3rd AL West