Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Looking Ahead to 2015
In October of 2015, when the Angels have finished off another World Series run (their 4th in a row), whose names will be engraved on the bottom of the trophy? What up and coming prospects will have made an impact, and what key players are still around? Lets take a look.
Mike Trout - By 2015, he will probably be a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate. By then, the outfield tandem of Trout and Bourjos will have taken the league by storm. Covering enough room to let Right Fielder Torii Hunter (see below) take most plays off, not that Hunter ever would. He will hit for average and power, drive in runs, steal bags and take away plenty of hits with his glove. A five-tool guy in every sense of the word, Mike Trout has become everything Angels fans wanted and more.
Jean Segura - After winning his first World Series title in 2012, Eric Aybar took his talents elsewhere through free agency after the Angels let him know that they weren't going to pay him like he wanted. It was a clean split, and Aybar currently enjoys playing beside David Wright and Skip Schumaker in St. Louis. This opened up a big hole that couldn't be filled by Macier Izturis every day, so the Halos called up Segura, a great defensive shortstop with a solid bat. He doesn't blow anyone away, but establishes himself as a solid Top 10 Shortstop for the next decade.
Alexi Amarista - He is that everyman kind of guy that every Championship team needs. He can play wherever and whenever, and does so with a good glove and a steady bat. The diehards love this guy because he plays for the team and not himself. Ammy comes up with the occasional big play that cements him as the ultimate utility player for years to come. He will eventually sign a contract to play everyday in a smaller market, but he never achieves the level of success he found in Anaheim.
Kendrys Morales - Well, did he recover? Never reaching his true potential, Morales would stick it out for 5 more years, having some success as a DH. While he almost never plays in the field, nor plays more than 140 games a season, Morales does have key hits in every one of the Angels Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back run of championships. After 2015, Morales will play one more season as a Yankee, but retire and ultimately become a successful hitting coach.
Torii Hunter - After re-signing with the team in 2013 for a bargain, the 40-year-old Hunter still plays serviceable outfield, and splits some time at DH with Morales. While not the superstar he was before, he is still beloved by the fans and contributes enough to keep himself in the lineup. Now with 4 rings to his credit, Hunter has all but cemented his Hall-of-Fame resume, and retires peacefully back to his home near Dallas.
Jered Weaver - Without Weaver, the Angels don't accomplish half of what has been laid out before you. Weaver keeps up the Cy Young pace, taking home the award twice in the four years, and wins nearly 100 games in that span. Though backed up by Haren (until 2014) and CJ Wilson, Weaver is clearly the ace of the staff, winning just about every big game down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Jeff Mathis - Lol, jk. That bum is never coming back. Just wanted to see you get all worried there for a second.
So clearly, this is all a big pipe dream. I'd love to win the next four WS titles, but even the most optimistic fan knows that just isn't in the cards. I still think we take 2 of the next 4, especially while Pujols, Haren, Weaver and Wilson are at their most effective. I do think, that besides the four titles and multitudes of awards, these are pretty reasonable expectations of the next 4 years. Maybe Weaver only gets to 75/80 wins, but that is still really damn impressive. I do think Segura takes over for Aybar in a year or two, and that Hunter resigns next winter for pennies on the dollar.
As for Trout, well, half the fun of having the best prospect in baseball is watching him develop into a superstar or fall flat on his face (aka The Dallas McPherson Effect).
Name of my first baseball book: The Dallas McPherson Effect. It will a super futuristic Sci-Fi where all the good baseball prospects can't make the transition from AAA to the bigs. Its up to Tom Cruise to find out why (yes, I've already cast the movie).