KFFL answers some important fantasy baseball questions for each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?
How should I value Jered Weaver?
Weaver's jumps in K/9, ground balls and control say he's a mixed ace. His velocity climbed a little, and he's harnessing the best way to use his deceiving, diverse arsenal, which induced more swinging strikes than ever before. However, his below-average fastball velocity and fly-ball problems are pitfalls. You should be more comfortable with heat-based K/9. Many might believe he's a mixed No. 1 now. Let someone else pay for him to be that.
Who'll earn a halo for saves?
Still got it? Hunter
Fernando Rodney is first in line, but it's far from a stronghold. A committee could be in session: Flamethrowers Jordan Walden and Kevin Jepsen are also in consideration against righties. Hisanori Takahashi and Scott Downs, in that order of fantasy interest, could work against lefties. Rodney's peripherals are shaky, but he will be cheap, taking less stress off replacing him if you're forced to consider him.
What can the Angels' outfield offer fantasy baseball drafters?
Torii Hunter's speed is declining, but he's still a capable run producer. He posted his best BB/K, contact rate (tied) and swinging strike percentage, so Hunter, who'll be 36 in July, still has a sturdy batting average and power combo left to offer in mixed leagues.
Though he's slowing down, Bobby Abreu stole 24 bases in his age-36 campaign last year. This team's aggressiveness should keep him around that level to add to his power, which should keep him around 20 homers. Unfortunately, the Angels have ample resources needed to cut Abreu's at-bats against southpaws, so that could limit his contributions.
Peter Bourjos' defense and the age of other outfielders should keep the speedster in the lineup. Reaching 30 swipes in a full season isn't a stretch for the nearly 24-year-old, which makes him a mixed flier pick. He hasn't shown a consistent ability to take a walk, though, which might hurt his clip and opportunities to steal.
Juan Rivera will still see a serviceable amount of time between left field and DH, especially against left-handers. There's plenty of power in his stick, and his BA skills can easily bump that up to '07 or '09 levels again. Watch him.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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