Sunday, December 1, 2019

Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Angels


It's December 1st, and like every December, we're gonna spend every day of the month that isn't Christmas rolling off remaining custom cards of players who may not have been obvious choices for daily posts this year. These customs are made up of late season call-ups, full-year performers who never had a standout month, traded players, and award winners. For each, I'm gonna talk about what they did in 2019, and how the story of 2019 in baseball wouldn't be complete without them. Because sportswriters are gonna try and retell the story of 2019 in the following decades, and maybe these customs will be used as a way to help them narrow their gaze. I will also try to make a prediction for 2020 with each player.

Mike Trout leads the post because he had a phenomenal year, getting his 3rd MVP award despite missing the end of the season.

Andrelton Simmons missed the first month of play due to injury, but once he came back he returned to his Anaheim self, hitting .264 with 105 hits.
Why Him in 2019?: Simmons was one of the few offensive standouts after the ASG break, and helped the team stay afloat after Trout's departure.
One 2020 Prediction: Simba will have an impressive start in Anaheim, perhaps with an ASG nod to boot (his first!), and will end the season playing for a playoff-bound squad before becoming a free agent.

Albert Pujols is Albert Pujols. Despite being a few pegs down from his dominance in St. Louis, he's still a fine lineup presence, and can still hit home runs.
Why Him in 2019?: Albert cracked 2000 RBIs this year, so that's gotta count for something, right?
One 2020 Prediction: 2020 will be the last full season of Albert's career that won't be plagued by celebration or circumstance. Or, more realistically, the last season he can do something great before someone pats him on the back for it. I predict that 2020 will be Albert's fifteenth and final 100+ RBI season.

J-Up, like Simmons, missed some time to injury, but despite 12 home runs in his 65 games, still felt like he was taking a step back from his earlier Angels work.
Why Him in 2019?: His June numbers, with a .273 average, and 4 RBIs, were a pleasant reprieve from disappointment.
One 2020 Prediction: Expect a return to classic J-Up in 2020. Upton will hit 32 home runs and bat .280.

Kevan Smith was a breakthrough at catcher after being traded from Chicago. After Jonathan Lucroy left for the North Side, Smith came to life, with 20 RBIs in 61 games, and a .251 average
Why Him in 2019?: Cause he'll be the catcher in Anaheim for a few more years after this, and this is where the good stuff started for him.
One 2020 Prediction: The starting job is his, and he's gonna bring relevancy back to the catching position.

 Griffin Canning was a rookie pitcher who, despite an injury taking him out at his height, was an impression addition to the rotation, getting 92 strikeouts in 17 starts.
Why Him in 2019?: His debut, and feel-good numbers, healed the Angels after Tyler Skaggs' death
One 2020 Prediction: An All-Star nomination.

Meanwhile, in the departures of Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker and, sadly, Tyler Skaggs, the ace of the rotation turned out to be Andrew Heaney. Heaney led the team in strikeouts with 118, and averaged 11 strikeouts per 9 innings
Why Him in 2019?: Cause he was the lead of the rotation, and he will likely continue to be as such.
One 2020 Prediction: A fuller season, and evener win numbers.

 After being non tendered by Miami, Dillon Peters made his way into the Angels rotation midway through the year, and had an impressive audition for a 2020 spot. Seeing as this was the Angels, his ERA was still over 5, but he was strong enough to make a name for himself.
Why Him in 2019?: Cause everyone else is getting a long-haired fireballer, so the Angels might as well have one too.
One 2020 Prediction: Will start the season in the rotation, but might move to the bullpen, and find success there.
 Patrick Sandoval was the other rookie call-up besides Griffin Canning, and Sandoval's debut was...slightly less interesting. Sandoval has 9 starts without a win, and a 5 ERA, despite 42 strikeouts.
Why Him in 2019?: He was one of the better Angels pitchers of their last month, which was tumultuous enough as is.
One Prediction for 2020: Of all the young Angels pitchers, Sandoval has the best chance of being sent down to the minors.
Cam Bedrosian had some sharp relief numbers, with a 3.23 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 59 games.
Why Him in 2019?: Bedrosian was a rare Angels reliever who didn't shit the bed in 2019.
One 2020 Prediction: Hansel Robles will lose the closing job at some point in May, and Bedrosian will do a fine job in his place. A mid-season trade will put him in a worthy bullpen.

Coming Tomorrow- The Astros nearly won a second World Series. Here are some people that helped.

No comments:

Post a Comment