The Los Angeles Angels circled around the hot stove a lot this offseason, gathering a good number of new players to add to their roster as well as their minor league ranks. They signed several new players to their roster, some of who overlap current Angels’ spots. As Spring Training finally starts up, the team hits the ground running with competitiveness as a main training element.
With these new additions to the roster, friendly competition will bring out the best in the competitors involved:
Valbuena, who bats left, hit .260/.357/.459 last year with 40 RBI and 13 homers in 90 games. Cron, relatively new to MLB, had a few hot streaks last season, collecting 69 RBI and 16 home runs. But those hot streaks had droughts as well. Valbuena also has a leg up considering he is the only lefty in this mix. Marte is the Angels’ utility man. When needed, he can play first, third, left field, or DH. The Angels will most likely keep him as their most versatile piece of the roster.
Third base: Valbuena compared to Yunel Escobar and Marte.
Escobar is the Angels’ dark horse. He hit .304 last year, ranking ninth in the AL, and logged 28 doubles. He should have nothing to worry about, but having Valbuena nipping at his heels will push his limits in a good way.
Maybin will definitely be the Halos’ main left fielder as long as his health permits. But if Revere can outdo Calhoun, he and Calhoun may become a right field platoon. Last season was not Revere’s year. He only mustered two home runs and averaged .217 — undoubtedly short of his .285 career average. While Calhoun’s career batting average is only .266, he did have a few high points in ’16 with 18 homers and 75 RBI while developing an eye for walks, ranking 15th in the AL.
Perez mainly stayed behind Jett Bandy last year, but after swapping Bandy for Maldonado, Perez may have a chance to move in as the Angels’ main catcher. Perez held a .995 fielding percentage last year in 82 games played. He is fairly new to the Angels, but this is his third season in MLB. Maldonado has four years’ more experience and a higher range factor.
Kayla is a writer for Outside Pitch MLB. Follow her on Twitter @KB_Kremer.