The Angels May Take The Torch As The Best All Around 1-4 Lineup In The MLB

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Saturday, January.19,  2013

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

The 2013 Los Angeles of Anaheim have the opportunity to post one of the most fearsome foursome’s in Major League Baseball history.  The lineup posts three MVP-caliber talents. American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout leading off with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hitting third or fourth respectively makes Angel fans ecstatic to watch this year’s club. Either Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar will flank Trout and Pujols, hoping to take pitches and take walks in order to allow Trout to run and Pujols to have a bounty of runners on. The 1-4 hitters have the potential to be one of the greatest lineup toppers that the game has seen.  Let’s compare them to some of the best 1-4 lineups in the last few decades:

Josh Hamilton signs autographs right after his Angels Press Conference:

1999 Indians:

the 1999 Cleveland Indians had 5 guys with 100 Runs Scored and 4 guys with 100+ RBI.  Ramirez was the best RBI man in the game.  Thome was a WALK/HR and RBI machine.  Alomar Scored 138 Runs and Drove in 120 RBI.  Lofton scored 110 runs and hit .301

the 1999 Cleveland Indians had 5 guys with 100 Runs Scored and 4 guys with 100+ RBI. Ramirez was the best RBI man in the game.  Vizquel had a career year for Avg, Runs +Hits.  Alomar Scored 138 Runs and drove in 120 RBI – and Lofton scored 110 runs and hit .301.

Kenny Lofton followed by Omar Vizquel ,   Roberto Alomar, Manny Ramirez . Even Jim Thome and Richie Sexson  hit 5th and 6th in this vaunted lineup.  Lofton stole 25-30 bases each year and hit in the high-200 to low-300’s – with plenty of walks for the big bats that followed.  Vizquel hit 2nd for the majority of the campaign – hitting .333, while scoring 112 Runs and adding 42 SB.   Alomar put together incredible seasons with the Indians – with his best year coming in 1999 where he his .322/.422/.533 with 24 HR 120 RBI, 37 SB and the aforementioned 138 Runs Scored.  Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome were an incredible 4-5 tandem -putting together at least 75 Home-Runs combined, while posting absurd peripherals to boot. Ramirez hit .333/.442/.663  with 44 HRs and 165 RBI in 1999 – and had even better Average numbers in 2000 for BA/OBP/SLG – .351/.457/.697!  All 4 guys scored over 100 Runs in 1999.  Even the number 6 hitter (Richie Sexson) belted 31 HRs and added 116 RBI in just 479 AB in 1999.

 

Mid-80’s Yankees: 

Don Mattingly won 3 straight AL Sporting News Player of The Years - and was the best ALL-Around player in the game from 1984-1986 leading 13 Offensive Categories for the 3 years.  His 145 RBI in 1985 was the most for a LHB since Stan Musial in 1949.  He hit .340 with 656 Hits, 145 2B, 88 HRs, 368 RBI and only SO 112 times in 2131 PA's

Don Mattingly won 3 straight AL Sporting News Player of The Years – and was the best ALL-Around player in the game from 1984-1986 leading 13 Offensive Categories for the 3 years. His 145 RBI in 1985 was the most for a LHB since Stan Musial in 1949. He hit .340 with 656 Hits, 145 2B, 88 HRs, 368 RBI and only SO 112 times in 2131 PA’s.

Rickey Henderson followed by Willie Randolph, Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield. The greatest Lead-off hitter of ALL- Time did just that for these Yankees stealing at least 80 bases in both 1985 and 1986.  He also is the last MLB Player to score more than a run per game over 100 Runs. (146 Runs in 143 Games in 1985)  Henderson also scored 130 Runs in 1986.  It didn’t hurt that he got on base in the .380’s each and every year.  Willie Randolph didn’t hit for much power but did a great job of getting on base (posting OBP of .382 and .393 in ’85 and ’86). Both Randolph and Mattingly were amongst the toughest in the AL to Strikeout either.  Randolph only Struckout 130 times between 1984-1986 – while he walked 265 times. Mattingly hit over .320 with 30+ HR and 110+ RBI a virtual reality each and every year.  And Winfield supplemented some power to protect Mattingly.  He hit .340 in 1984, and clubbed 25 HRs and 100+ RBI 2 Years in a row (85-86)

Honorable Mentions:

(These clubs had virtually a ‘Big 3’): 2004 World Series Champions with Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez (again) and David Ortiz. Late 80’s A’s with Henderson and the Bash Brothers of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. 2008 Philadelphia Phillies with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.  The 1993 Blue Jays were not too shabby either featuring the top 3 Batting Averages in the AL out of their 1st four hitter, however the power was not as great.

Once Rickey Henderson joined the A's, their 1-4 lineups were scary with the Bash Bro's.  Carney Lansford and Dave Henderson complimented well as #2 hitters.

Once Rickey Henderson joined the A’s, their 1-4 lineups were scary with the Bash Bro’s. Carney Lansford and Dave Henderson complimented well as #2 hitters.

Overall the 2013 Angels match up pretty well with these aforementioned clubs.  Mike Trout has the potential to be a Rickey Henderson-caliber player with his amazing blend of power and speed.  Trout hit 30 HR and stole 49 bases last year and those numbers should improve over time. I’ll predict a .285/.380/.520 season for Trout thanks to a year in which the opponents make adjustments to how they attacked him last year.  He should hit 20-25 HR and steal 60 bases this year.  Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar will be slightly-above average hitters who should benefit hitting in between Trout and Pujols (even though both didn’t do well in that spot last year).

Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols might see to Mike Trout scored a run per game in the next few years.

Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols might see to Mike Trout scored a run per game in the next few years.

I’ll give the nod to Kendrick since manager Mike Scioscia seems to like Erick Aybar in the bottom half of the order to give the club a stolen-base threat there. Kendrick’s average slash line is .287/.325/.400 and he doesn’t stray from those stats every year.  He’s not flashy or exciting but at least he’s consistent. Albert Pujols is Albert Pujols, a guy who’s average year is .325/.414/.608 with 41 HR and 125 RBI.  While he had a down year last year thanks to an abysmal April, a .310/.380/.550 season with 35 HR and 115 RBI would be a decent prediction for the 33-year old.  Josh Hamilton should hit about .290/.340/.530 with 32 HRs and 120 RBI, giving the 3-4 in the order a predicted production of almost 70 HR and 240 RBI (which is about what Manny and Thome gave the aforementioned Indians).

The Angels really have a “Big 3” with Kendrick hitting in the 2 spot since they don’t have much else that fits there.  I’d rank them above the mid-80’s Yankees but below the late-90’s Indians.  Still, being better than the mid-80’s Yankees who won at least 90 games every year is exactly where the Angels would want to be. Let’s shoot for 95 wins and an AL West title boys!

Think I have missed or overlooked a lineup – join the discussion and leave your comments for me below or on Twitter.

With trout and pujols tearing the cover off of the ball after Trout arrived in May - how much more damage will they do with 43 HRs 128 RBI Josh  Hamilton to the mix

With trout and pujols tearing the cover off of the ball after Trout arrived in May – how much more damage will they do with ’43 HRs/128 RBI’  guy Josh Hamilton to the mix?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Angels Correspondent’ Josh Jones for preparing today’s featured article.  Josh Jones claims to be the biggest Angels fan there is. He has been religiously following the team since 2005 and have watched every game since.  His girlfriend and him attend about 40 games a year and love every minute of attendance. Josh is currently a senior at California State University, Fullerton working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Josh wishes to thank all of the readers for viewing his posts.  Follow Josh on twitter 

Josh Jones

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on January 19, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, Encarnacion lineup isn’t too bad, either. Angels probably better with 3 of 4, but Kendrick/Aybar bring them down to closer to par with the Jays.

    • HI Sean, I absolutely agree with you there. Trout is sick and could average a run per game. Hamilton and Pujols could hit 80 HRs and drive in about 150 RBI this year. The 2nd hitter for the Angels needs to move Trout over for the big fish. I agree Toronto could be scary. They have the last 2 NL Batting Average Champs (Yes Cabrera cheated for it), however Cabrera should still hit for a good average hitting in front of Joey Bats and EE. Lets not forget Cabrera has always been a good fastball hitter. He will certainly receive a pile of those in that order. Reyes should be able to steal some more bags with added AL At Bats. I worry about Bautista and that wrist though. If healthy, Bautista will probably contend for the AL Hank Aaron Award again. They also play in hitter-friendly SkyDome (we call it that here) where Bautista is unbelievable. Angel Stadium plays more as a fair park to both pitchers and hitters. Great comment .

  2. I think the Jays lineup on paper is every bit as good as the Angels 1-4, but with more question marks- Reyes on turf, Cabrera clean, Bautista’s wrist.
    Jays may even have more upside, but Angels are more likely to outperform.
    Of course, looking at pitching staffs, the Angels are going to need to score a few more runs than some other contenders.

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