Predicting the Halos’ All-Stars

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Updated: March 26, 2017

We’re at that point in Spring Training; storylines are hard to come by, and players and fans alike are begging for the regular season to just start, already! We’re in the stretch run, however, as there’s only eight days between now and the first real game;

Opening day! Leading up to that glorious moment when the first pitch is thrown, I’ll be doing a prediction piece each day. Today, we start with the Angels‘ all-stars, which will also be a prediction for some breakout players. Last season, the Halos only had one player make the team, superstar Mike Trout, but this season he won’t be alone. Without further ado, here are the 2017 Angel all stars!

Trout – We’ll get the obvious one out of the way first; Trout is not only the best player in the world, he’s also immensely popular, and should be starting the All-Star Game for years to come. Trout has been an all-star every full year of his career, and has started the last four. He’ll be in the starting lineup yet again on his way to another MVP-caliber season.

Kole Calhoun – Kole was an early choice to have a breakout season for me, and I’m doubling down on that by predicting the Red Baron makes the first All-Star Game of his career. Already one of the best defensive players in baseball, Calhoun has steadily improved and refined his batting approach over the past few years, and although his power numbers dipped a bit last season, he vastly improved almost every other facet of his offensive game.

As the Angels continue to add depth and improve the lineup around players like Trout, Calhoun, and Albert Pujols, it will only help those players put up even better numbers. Calhoun is one of the most underrated players in baseball, but he’ll finally make the leap and earn the first All-Star nod of his career.

Matt Shoemaker – Another breakout prediction, Shoemaker was the Angels’ ace most of the season, and for how bad the Halo’s pitching was last season, it could have been a whole lot worse if Shoemaker hadn’t put together the impressive season he did after being demoted. After having a breakout-type year in 2014 as a rookie, Shoe regressed significantly in 2015.

It looked like more of the same from him in 2016, as he had an ERA over nine at the beginning of May, when he was sent down to the minors and then immediately recalled due to injuries to Garrett Richards and Nick Tropeano.

Shoemaker was stellar from that point on, dropping his ERA all the way down to 3.91 before suffering an awful head injury and missing the last month of the season. Shoe has returned this Spring to look stellar again, and even appears to have earned the Opening Day nod. This year, Shoemaker will put it all together, lock down the Angels’ ace role, and earn his first all-star nod.

Cam Bedrosian – In a season with so much focus on dominating relievers like Andrew Miller, Kenley Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman, you can understand why Bedrosian may have flown under the radar like he did. Look closely, though, and you see that he quietly had one of the more dominating seasons for a reliever before his season also ended early due to an injury.

Bedrosian put up a 1.12 ERA with fifty strikeouts forty innings, the advanced stats back up a dominating season. Even better for Bedrosian’s chances is the fact that he’ll be the Opening Day Closer, with incumbent Huston Street expected to start the season on the DL. Bedrosian has looked unhittable this Spring, and it seems unlikely that Cam will give up his hold on the closer’s spot once Street is healthy.

More likely, Cam will carry over his dominance from last season and this Spring into the regular season and join the club of elite closers, earning his first all-star nod in the process.

Honorable Mentions – These players may not be good enough to break through into the Midsummer Classic, but they are going to put together impressive seasons. The Angels have done everything they can to not have C.J. Cron in a full time role, but after signing Valbuena to start and continuing to place him over Cron on the depth chart even though Valbuena couldn’t stay healthy all Spring, Cron will finally get his shot after Valbuena’s latest injury that will cost him four to six weeks.

Cron showed positive development in his plate discipline and batting eye last year, and has been scorching hot this spring. If Cron is able to carry that over into the season, he could seize hold of the starting spot and not relinquish it. I’m predicting here that Cron will do just that, and although he won’t make the All-Star Game, he’s going to have a very good season.

Richards looks to be fully healthy and ready to bounce back, and he’s going to have a good season. He’s going to be on a strict pitch count, though, and that’s going to hold Richards back a bit as far what his stats will show. Albert Pujols will have what’s a typical season for the slugger at this point, but with players like Miguel Cabrera, Eric Hosmer, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, Hanley Ramirez, and Chris Davis manning first base in the American League, that type of season just isn’t all-star caliber anymore.

The Bottom Line – The Angels only had one all-star last year, and that’s what they deserved for how bad they were. They will bounce back this season, though, and the All-Star Game will show that, as they’ll send four to the game. The Angels haven’t had that many players in the game since 2012, and that kind of representation will be a great thing for the Halos’ and their fans.

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