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Could this be our 2016 Lineup?


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Maybe I'm being over-optimistic about Kaleb Cowart's performance in AAA but damn is it nice to see him raking. In just a couple months he's a legit prospect again.

 

So what about this (with 2016 age):

 

C Jett Bandy (26)/Carlos Perez (25)

1B Albert Pujols (36)

2B Johnny Giavotella (28)

SS Erick Aybar (32)

3B Kaleb Cowart (24)

LF Kyle Kubitza (25)

CF Mike Trout (24)

RF Kole Calhoun (28)

DH CJ Cron (26)

 

Pros: It is young. Only Aybar and Pujols are on the wrong side of 30.

 

Cons: Might not quite have enough fire-power, with no clear stars after Trout.

 

If the Angels trade for someone like Adam Lind (32) or Jay Bruce (29), then they would play LF next year and Kubitza can battle it out for 3B with Cowart.

 

The other question is 2B. Gio still seems like a short-term answer, but Alex Yarbrough (24) has hardly impressed in AAA.

 

The Angels might want to hold onto Aybar for at least another year, until Baldoquin is ready - but who knows when that would be. Originally it was thought that he could seamlessly take over from Aybar in 2017, but that seems optimistic at this point. Another option would be to trade Aybar this offseason for a prospect, not unlike they did with Kendrick, then fill in with Rutledge, Featherston, and/or Stamets until Baldoquin is ready. But that would definitely give the Angels a weak middle infield.

 

I'm a bit optimistic on Kubitza and think he can be similar to Calhoun: an above average regular but not a star.

 

Bandy and Perez isn't sexy but I think could surprise and be a solid tandem.

 

What do you think? What will the lineup look like next year?

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There are a few times that I am simply stumped on a prospect, like I can't figure them out. Cowart is one. I honestly cannot tell you one way or another whether or not he'll be a major leaguer at or even a good player.

Color me confused.

But other than Cowart and likely a LF, that's what the lineup will be.

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My feelings on this list:

 

"C Jett Bandy (26)/Carlos Perez (25)"

 

After a hot start, Perez has fallen off a cliff offensively but handles the pitchers and defensive side well.  Seems to be back-up material at the moment but further developent could result.  Bandy seems like a backup to the backup.  Defensively, the tools seem to be there but, offensively, he does nothing particularly well.  Hopefully, these two can add up to one league average catcher at some point. 

 

"1B Albert Pujols (36)"

 

Despite June's explosion, he's been pretty absent in the 3 hole.  Aging and expensive, hopefully he can at least repeat 2012's numbers for a few more seasons. 

 

"2B Johnny Giavotella (28)"

 

Replacement level but good to have on your team.  Average in everything he does.

 

"SS Erick Aybar (32)"

 

Has gone from a peanut-head to a more steady presence on the team.  I wouldn't mind having him stick around beyond since the options are pretty limited at SS in the league and Baloquin is no guarantee.

 

"3B Kaleb Cowart (24)"

 

Has a lot to prove still.  Continuing to mash at AAA the rest of the year and into the next would help build the team's confidence in him.  Defensively, his arm/range is solid.  Power is limited to mostly gaps but appears to be able to get on base, work the count, and has above average speed.  Don't know how you can count on him for 2016 just yet though.

 

"LF Kyle Kubitza (25)"

 

Not much power, K's more than you'd like, can get on base, decent defensively at 3B but is now being considered in LF due to Cowart's resurrection. 

 

Both Kubitza and Cowart have youth on their side and fact that Freese is a pretty forgettable predecessor.

 

"CF Mike Trout (24)"

 

Nothing more needs to be said

 

"RF Kole Calhoun (28)"

 

Solid contirbutor

 

"DH CJ Cron (26)"

 

Big, fat, immoble question mark.  Hope he can be the .280/.320/.800 he's capable of but still looking like the .260/.290/.720 player he is at the moment.

 

This line-up has more question marks than the original script for "The Usual Suspects"

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Obviously, Baldoquin not any other SS prospect has really stepped forth to challenge Aybar, but just to think outside the box...what if Aybar transitioned to 2B, 3B, or UT in a year or two?

May be an option depending on how other prospects pan out. Allows us a steady vet presence and to retain him.

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I think Bruce is snagged before the deadline. Could see Cowart and Kubitza battling in spring training for third base, but I could easily see a Uribe type of guy signed to provide SOME insurance seeig as neither are faaaar from sure things, but I think they'll go with the one of the "kids".

To me the team is still lacking a leadoff hitter, if they could sign another outfielder who fits the leadoff mold and rotate everyone through the DH spot, sorry Cron, the lineup could be pretty nasty. Someone like Dexter Fowler in left field who backs up center field, Bruce gets the bulk of DH while playing some left and right to preserve his knees, Kole plays mostly right field and mayb some first base. Bench and middle relief also needs some attention.

Edited by nikkachez
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There are a few times that I am simply stumped on a prospect, like I can't figure them out. Cowart is one. I honestly cannot tell you one way or another whether or not he'll be a major leaguer at or even a good player.

Color me confused.

But other than Cowart and likely a LF, that's what the lineup will be.

 

I'm guessing the list of guys that struggled mightily in AA for two years, got demoted to high A and didn't perform particularly well, then got bumped up to AAA... and figured it out...   is a pretty short list.

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I personally think Kubitza is ready right now and just needs regular at-bats. Once he adjusts to the majos he's going to be an above average hitter, maybe .270/.350/.420 with 15 HR. Similar to Calhoun.

 

I want to see that power develop in AAA if we're going to insert him into the starting lineup and regular LF. Plus, he'll need more innings to get good in LF in the minors. 

 

The thing with Cowart is you know you're going to get a solid 3B defensively. If we can get a good LF and DH (if Cron doesn't turn out) this offense will be just fine.

 

I'm up for giving Gia the entire season to prove his worth. So far, so good. If not, I'd like to see us give Sherman Johnson a try there. Or perhaps re-sign HK?

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I'm really not sure most of you have ANY idea who Kubitza is beyond the small stint he had this year. Battling with Cowart? No power?

He's looks like he can get on base and hit for some gap power but a .788 OPS in the PCL is not going turn heads. However, when your chief competition in LF is Joyce, there is room for AB's. Problem is, with JD out of the picture, Mike will lean on the vets and you can expect more Joyce/Robertson goodness in the future unless there is an injury. I've read comments here that the reason Kubitza was in AAA primarily to work on his D at 3B but, with Cowart re-emerging, is it back to square one for him in the OF? Edited by mulwin444
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I was a big fan of the Kubitza trade. But nothing about a .788 OPS in the PCL, at the age of 25, suggests he will ever amount to an average major league player.

 

Yeah, you don't want a lite-hitting LF in the lineup unless they're stealing bases and getting on base.

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Only thing right about this lineup is that certain guys from 2015 won't be back. 

 

Calhoun will be due a raise, as will Richards and Santiago. The Angels have around 130 M committed now, including Josh Hamilton's disaster of a contract to play for a division rival.

 

They won't be big shoppers in free agency, but I could see them getting a few guys that route.

 

At Catcher, I don't know if Iannetta comes back, but don't know if they go with Perez and Bandy. I could see us making a play for Matt Wieters if he can still play and comes cheaply enough.

 

At 1st, it's Pujols and Cron.

 

At 2nd, as averagely good as Giavotella has done, his job is far from safe. Howie Kendrick is a free agent and could return. Rutledge could win the job next spring. You just don't know.

 

At SS it's Aybar. 

 

At 3rd, Freese isn't likely to return, but Cowart's two months in AAA are not winning him the major league job. He's still striking out a ton. Kubitza and Cowart may split time here.

 

In LF, I think they get a guy at the deadline to fill this spot. Or if not, go after a free agent at season's end. I like Gerardo Parra formerly of the D'Backs and currently with the Brewers. He's going to get overpaid, but that's ok.

 

In CF it's Trout.

 

In RF it's Calhoun.

 

DH is Cron and Pujols 

 

And so here's my 2016 lineup.

 

LF Parra

RF Calhoun

CF Trout

1B Pujols

2B Kendrick

SS Aybar

DH Cron

3B Kubitza

C Perez

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I could talk for hours on this DVD I doubt anyone would really read it, I'll keep mine short.

There's more to Jett Bandy than he's getting credit for. He's very good defensively, almost as good as Perez. Offensively, he can hit for considerable power and at times be an OB machine. He'll be a good platoon partner at catcher. We won't get as much offense like we have had with Iannetta, but we'll be very good defensively and that makes up for it.

Kubitza has more gap power than anyone in AAA and should be able to hit at least .270 in the majors. He's shown so much growth defensively that there's little doubt he'll be a pretty decent defensive 3B. The offensive output should be quite similar to Calhoun, but with a better OBP.

If I were to construct the optimal lineup for what I see next year, I think it's be Parra, Calhoun, Trout, Pujols, Lind, Kubitza, Aybar, Bandy and Gia.

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"The offensive output should be quite similar to Calhoun, but with a better OBP"

 

I guess that's where you're losing me.  Calhoun tore through the minor leagues with more power, better OBP and less K's than Kubitza.

 

In his last season at AAA, Calhoun hit .354 .431 OBP 1.047 OPS, striking out at much as he walked (32, 32)...basically demanding that the Angels promote him.

 

Kubitza has 81 K's through 75 games, has a decent OBP and doubles power but is not exaclty making a statement with his performance.

 

I'm not seeing how the two are comparable honestly...

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