Editor’s note: We continue our countdown of how MLB’s 30 teams rank in terms of fantasy baseball assets. At No. 13, here’s Dalton Del Don’s snapshot of the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels look improved and should be in the mix for a wild card spot, but an already thin rotation can ill afford Griffin Canning to go down, and the young right-hander’s elbow is currently of major concern (removing him off fantasy draft boards — we’ll see if he’ll be ready by season’s start, whenever it does).
Mike Trout is no longer the unanimous top pick in drafts (but dominates top golf), yet he remains baseball’s clear best player. It’s worth noting, however, that after averaging 158 games played from 2013-2016, he’s averaged 129.3 over the last three years.
Anthony Rendon is someone to fade coming off a career-year, as he’ll be switching leagues and undergoing a major downgrade in parks, while Justin Upton is someone to target coming off the worst season of his career thanks to a bunch of injuries. He’s cheaper than ever and is slated to hit behind Trout, Rendon and a jacked Shohei Ohtani. Brian Goodwin could provide short-term value while possibly even leading off earlier in the year, but it’s a matter of when, not if, exciting rookie Jo Adell replaces him in the team’s outfield. Since the Angels moved their right-field fences in two years ago, Anaheim has been the friendliest place for left-handed homers.
Andrew Heaney’s 21.5 K-BB% last season would’ve ranked top-15 among starters had he qualified, and while it’s going to be fun when Ohtani is truly unleashed, he will be eased back while returning from Tommy John surgery (he has reportedly been showcasing some new throwing mechanics as well).
Dylan Bundy is a pitcher to target who’s available late but has a strong pedigree and saw a huge upgrade in surroundings when he was traded from the Orioles and the AL East to a far more favorable situation in LA. Hansel Robles was strong down the stretch last year and enters as the Angels’ favorite to close, but projection systems suggest you address the saves category elsewhere.