Angels 2018 spring training primer: Outfield

first_imgMOVES THEY COULD MAKEIf the Angels change course and do opt for a more established player to serve as the backup, the free agent market still includes players like Jarrod Dyson, Rajai Davis and Maybin. If one of those players simply wants to be with the Angels enough to accept a reduced role, there could be a fit. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training on Feb. 14, we are providing a breakdown of how they stand with their roster. So far, we’ve done the rotation, the bullpen and the infield. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. This week, the outfield:2017 RECAPOf course, any look at the Angels outfield starts with the best player in the world, Mike Trout. Although he was injured for seven weeks, he still produced a season good enough to finish fourth in the MVP race. Trout hit .306 with 33 homers and a career-best 1.071 OPS. In right field, Kole Calhoun had a somewhat disappointing season, with his OPS dropping to a career low .725. Left field wasn’t quite the black hole it had been for the Angels in the previous two years. Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere provided solid production before Justin Upton was acquired in September.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWJust days after the end of the World Series, Upton agreed to a new contract, for five years and $106 million. He had an opt-out in his previous deal, which had four years and $88.5 million to go. In exchange for forgoing his opt-out, Upton got an extra $17.5 million. Considering the ice cold free agent market in the three months since, it seems that Upton made a wise decision to take the Angels’ offer. Now, the Angels feel they are set with a player who, at age 30, is still one of the game’s best all-around left fielders. He will still be alongside Trout and Calhoun, who both seem to be safe bets to produce as they have the past few years. In Trout’s case, that means otherworldly production at the plate and on the bases, along with above-average defense in center. The Angels would like to see Calhoun bounce back slightly to his production in 2015-16. Defensively, he is still elite.THE NEXT LAYERThe Angels brought back Eric Young Jr. (minor league deal) and signed Rymer Liriano (minor league deal), a former top prospect. Those two figure to be the top contenders to win the job as the fourth outfielder. It didn’t make sense for the Angels to bring back a more established player, such as Maybin or Revere, because there figures to be so little playing time behind Trout, Upton and Calhoun. Michael Hermosillo, who has been one of the fastest rising prospects in the organization, could be the next man up, if an injury to a starter creates an everyday spot. The Angels likely wouldn’t want Hermosillo to stall his development by sitting on the bench in the majors, though.last_img

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