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2006 Los Angeles Angels Baseball Preview

Los Angeles Angels Predictions – AL WEST

OVERVIEW:

The Angeles of Los Angeles have been a force in the diminutive AL West for quite a few years and this season will be no different. They’re a team that manages to cover all the bases.

PITCHING:

Bartolo Colon, 2005 AL Cy Young winner, throws four quality pitches-- two seam fastball, four seam fastball, change up and slider. Last season he went 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA, .254 batting average by opponents and 157 strikeouts in 222.2 innings.

John Lackey (14-5, 3.44 ERA) can win 20 games this year. He’s an excellent power pitcher with a good change up. Also, Kelvin Escobar possesses the tools to be a big winner; this could be a breakout season for him.

Francisco Roderiguez (K-Rod) simply mows down batters in the ninth. Last season he recorded 91 K’s in 67.1 IP and earned 45 saves.

HITTING:

The Angels lineup features one of the most potent hitters in the majors. Vladimir Guerrero is the main man at the plate; last season his homerun swing produced 32 long balls and his aggressive RBI punch resulted in 108 scores. He topped the team in batting average (.317).

Chone Figgins leads off for the Angels and gets on base often (.290 BA, .352 OBP). Once on, he’s one of the best base runners in the game (62 SB). He can manufacture runs, especially with Guerrero hitting from the third spot.

More offense is needed from shortstop Orlando Cabrera, DH Juan Rivera and first baseman Casey Kotchman.

Adam Kennedy (.300 BA) and Garret Anderson (.283) are dependable with runners on base.

DEFENSE:

The Angels tied with two other AL West teams for best league defense (.986 FP), while making the second least errors (87).

The outfield includes Gold Glove center fielder Darin Erstad; the powerful arm in right of Guerrero and the efficient running in left of Garret Anderson.

The infield is one of the best in the majors, with the versatile Figgins at third, the agile Cabrera at short and the solid fielding Kotchman at first. At second base, Adam Kennedy has a good DP pivot and continues to improve his fielding.

MANAGER AND FRONT OFFICE:

* Mike Scioscia has tenure in his seventh year as manager; the Angeles have made the playoffs the last three out of four seasons.
* GM Bill Stoneman made few hot stove deals, which could hurt.
* Great farm system in place.

INTANGIBLES AND/OR OTHER STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES:

* Trusted and dependable Scioscia sidekick and bench coach Joe Maddon has become Tampa Bay’s manager. That’s a loss.
* Injuries to Colon, Escobar, and Guerrero have all healed-- right?
* 2 good starters-- Jarrod Washburn and Paul Byrd-- have gone the free agent route. They have not been replaced.

CONCLUSION:

Colon and Lackey could be the most impressive one-two punch on the mound this year. Combined with a disciplined and more mature K-Rod, one of the best “D’s” in the game and the amazing hitting of Guerrero-- this team is a winner!

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For more information on the 2006 Los Angeles Angels visit their official MLB website by clicking here.

 

2006 Baseball Team Previews

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