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Spring Training Preview: Los Angeles Angels

Its that time when teams are arriving at spring training with the hope of winning a World Series at the end of the year. The Angels have a lot to look forward to with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout coming back and looking to make a big push for the postseason. This offseason the Angels made a ton of moves to push them to make it to the playoffs and move closer to a championship. The Angels are tied with the longest active playoff drought and are looking to change that this season. In this piece, I will focus on some of the key moves they made and what to expect in this upcoming season.

Three Key Offseason Moves

The first key move that the Angels made this offseason was trading for Gio Urshela and giving away pitcher Alejandro Hidalgo. This was the first impact move the Angels made in November to sure up their infield defense.  The 31-year-old can play shortstop and third base at a very high level and has a good bat that can help an already good offense. Last season Urshela hit .285 with 64 runs batted in and 13 home runs. This added depth to the Angels will pay dividends in the lengthy 162-game season.

The Hunter Renfroe trade was another impactful move for this Angels starting lineup. Renfroe will make an immediate impact because of his ability to hit for power. Last year he hit 29 home runs and knocked in 72 runs batted with a .255 batting average. He has bounced around the league but the one thing that remains consistent is his ability to hit for power where ever he goes.  It is a definite upgrade from Jo Adell who has promise but Renfroe is a player that will help them win now.

The third key move the Angels made was signing Tyler Anderson in the offseason. The 33-year-old veteran signed for three years and 39 million dollars which is a very team-friendly deal. Anderson had a very solid year last year he finished with a 15-5 record with a 2.57 earned run average in 178.2 innings of work. Last year was Anderson’s best year by far and will be interesting to see if he can keep that consistency with the Angels. If he is able to maintain a 3.00 earned run average, he slides in nicely as a number two starter in the Angels starting rotation that has a lot of young arms in it.

Things to Look Out For

There are a lot of exciting things to watch for this very talented team. Shohei Ohtani may have a season that many of us will remember for a long time because he is in a contract year. Last year he was in the hunt for his second MVP award and there is no doubt he will be in that conversation again. Mike Trout will be looking to add to his legendary stats and prove to the MLB community that he can take his team to the playoffs.

One of the younger players to look out for is 23-year-old catcher Logan O’Hoppe. They acquired O’Hoppe last year in the trade that sent Noah Syndergaard to the Phillies. Last year in the Phillies double-A affiliate he hit .286 with 15 home runs and 41 runs batted. He is one of the young players to look out for this season that will improve the catcher position from last year.

The last player to look out for is the left fielder, Taylor Ward. Last season Ward started off tremendously hot and looked like he was going to be a star in the 2022 campaign. However, by the middle of the season, his production slowed down and was not able to get back to that all-star level player. It will be interesting to see if he can have a consistent all-star caliber season that would significantly this Angels team be a playoff team.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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