|2007 Season Postmortem: The Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim||| Print |||Send|
Written by Bjoern Hartig (Contact & Archive) on November 08, 2007
Lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS in three games
Batting Average – Chone Figgins, .330
Home Runs – Vladimir Guerrero, 27
Runs Batted In – Vladimir Guerrero, 125
Runs Scored – Orlando Cabrera, 101
Stolen Bases – Chone Figgins, 41
Wins – John Lackey, 20
Strikeouts – John Lackey, 179
Innings Pitched – John Lackey, 224.0
Earned Run Average – John Lackey, 3.01
Saves – Francisco Rodriguez, 40
Year in and year out, the answer to this question is Vladimir Guerrero. He led the team in on-base-percentage, slugging, on-base & slugging (obviously), doubles, home runs, total bases, base on balls and runs batted in. Somehow, he was only second in batting average and runs scored. He might be slowing down a bit, but without him, there simply is no offense in Anaheim, period.
Team Cy Young
Last season, the Angels had not only one, but two legitimate Cy Young contenders in John Lackey (19-9, 3.01) and Kelvim Escobar (18-7, 3.40), who finally stayed healthy enough to pitch to his potential. All things considered though, Lackey still had the slightly better season as he edged out Escobar in wins, innings pitched (224.0 to 195.2) and WHIP (1.21 to 1.27). Had Lackey won just one more game, he even might have taken home the actual hardware.
What Went Right
After a dissappointing 2006 campaign, the Angels were able to improve their offensive production by 56 runs while the pitching staff managed to repeat their rock-solid 2006 performance. Together with a rectified defense (23 less errors), that was more than enough for the Halos to cruise to their third division title in four years. The Mariners got close at the end of August, but never really challenged LA down the stretch.
What Went Wrong
Athough the Angels scored more runs in 2007, overall, the offense stagnated. The team actually hit for less power this season, something that became painfully obvious in the ALDS, when the Halos managed only six doubles and no home runs. As a result, they only scored in two innings of the series (on of those being the ninth inning of game three with the score being 0-9) and were swept in three games by the eventual champions from Boston.
Up and Coming Player
Second baseman Howie Kendrick had a solid season, hitting .322/.347/.450 and he should only get better if he manages to stay healthy. First baseman Kendry Morales also seems ready to help the team. But most fans’ hopes rest on shortstop / third baseman Brandon Wood, who broke out in 2005 with more than 100 extra base hits in the minors. He might still be a year away though.
What the Team Should Do in the Offseason
Sign A-Rod at all costs. It’s that simple. The Angels need a big bat and who could better provide a serious upgrade for the offense than Alex Rodriguez? The Angels have a very strong core and should win their division with ease the next two or three years. In other words, their window of opportunity is wide open right now, but to push this team to the next level, they need more power in the line-up. They will probably need to overpay for A-Rod’s services, but he could very well be the difference between a division banner and a world series banner (or two).