2024 Angels

Four Goals for the 2024 Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have been caught in no man’s land for years now. They had two of the best players in the sport on their team but didn’t have enough around them to truly compete for a playoff berth. Mike Trout hasn’t been to the postseason since 2014 when the team was swept by the Kansas City Royals; it has been a mediocre decade for the Angels.

The Angels haven’t made any major moves during Spring Training and seem to be content with improving via the minor league system and young players. There are ways for the Angels to remain relevant in the playoff discussion, although they certainly aren’t expected to even compete for an AL West division title.

Each new MLB season starts with fresh hope and big expectations for a lot of teams, so here are four goals for the Los Angeles Angels entering the 2024 season.

Four Goals for the 2024 Angels


Keep Players Healthy

Injuries are a part of baseball and every team deals with them, but the Angels seem to have particularly bad luck when it comes to keeping their players healthy. It might go without saying, but the Angels are a better team when Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon stay in the lineup. Unfortunately, that has been a monumental problem for the Halos since Rendon signed with the team in 2020; he has played in just 36% of the Angels’ games in four seasons. Now that Shohei Ohtani has moved up the 5 Freeway, Rendon’s presence is even more crucial. There have to be credible threats hitting behind Trout, otherwise no team will feel the need to pitch to him. 

Trout may be getting older, but he can still produce at an All-Star level, and the Angels desperately need their star player to stay on the diamond as much as he can. With the Angels’ excess supply of capable outfielders, Trout will likely DH more than he has in years past, which will help him stay rested as the season drags on. Rendon should also get some time as a designated hitter, with Luis Rengifo filling in for him at the hot corner.

Besides Trout and Redon, last season’s major injury victims also included Zach Neto, Logan O’Hoppe, Taylor Ward, and Jo Adell. Neto and O’Hoppe are the team’s best young players and don’t have backups who can match their outputs. Both are still very young, but they have to stay healthy in 2024 if the Angels want to put together a competent lineup and defense.

Aside from Ohtani, the Halo pitching staff largely avoided costly injuries last year and needs to keep that streak going. The Angels have an adequate armada of pitchers, especially in the bullpen, a position group that general manager Perry Minasian gave special attention to this offseason. That being said, the Angels’ starting pitchers are probably an above-league-average group but don’t have a lot of proven big-league starts after the five members of the starting rotation. It would be a boon for the team if their starters can avoid injury. I understand that some injuries are just freak accidents, but maybe the Angels should begin investing more heavily in the training staff and injury prevention technology to help their players as much as possible.

Remain Competitive (Or Frisky) Through the Summer

I predicted that the Angels would finish with more than 72.5 wins, and I genuinely believe they will. But, it would be even better if they could win more than 80 games and stay competitive in the Wild Card race until the trade deadline. Granted, some fans might want to completely tank and start the whole build from scratch. But with a 32-year-old Mike Trout (who turns 33 in August), the front office can’t just give up on this season.

Trout has stuck around this long, and he deserves to be on a competent team that doesn’t lose 90 games. Now maybe Trout decides he’s had enough torture and asks to be traded this season, that would be a different story. The playoffs might seem like a pipe dream, but the Halos should at least aim to be frisky down the stretch.

Maybe they can take a series from a Wild Card hopeful team and knock them back in the race. Maybe the Angels can dominate the Freeway Series in late June. Maybe they can sweep a few AL West series in July and August. The Angels just need to stay in the hunt and give fans a lot to cheer about.

Flip Fringe Pieces For Prospects (i.e. Improve the Farm System)

Typically, when a team doesn’t make the playoffs for a decade, that means they get better draft picks, thus also giving them a lot of promising prospects in the minor leagues. Unfortunately for the Angels, their farm system hasn’t been good in ages and it may take a while to build it back up. They have hit on some recent draft picks, like Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Reid Detmers, but most of their best prospects aren’t the type of game-changing young players that LA needs.

In a last-ditch effort to make the playoffs last year, the Angels traded away their top two prospects, pitcher Ky Bush and catcher Edgar Quero, to the Chicago White Sox for pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Giolito was a disaster and Lopez pitched pretty well, but both of them were placed on waivers once the Angels were out of the playoff race as a way to save money. They also traded away a few less noticeable prospects in other deals at the deadline.

But this year has to be different for the Angels. I truly hope they prove the entire world and make the playoffs, but if they don’t, they have to start restocking their farm system and I think Perry Minsian knows this. Relievers are always a hot commodity at the deadline, and Minasian signed quite a few this offseason to small deals. Pitchers like Adam Cimber, José Cisnero, Luis Garcia, Matt Moore, and even Robert Stephenson (the best and most expensive new reliever) could be very enticing to playoff-hopeful teams looking to strengthen their staffs.

In other articles, I’ve mentioned that the Angels have a logjam in the outfield, and that is another position group that the Angels could look to sell from. If Jo Adell, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak, or Aaron Hicks get off to fast starts, they could certainly be flipped for a decent prospect. 

Regardless of how the Angels do in the standings this year, they cannot afford to subtract from their farm system anymore. All of the best teams in baseball have a constant flow of capable players from the minor league systems and the Angels would do well to emulate the modes of success that other teams have already found.

Give The Young Players Room To Grow

The core members of the next great Angels team might already be on the roster, think Neto, O’Hoppe, Detmers, Schanuel, and maybe even Adell. But all of these players are young and inexperienced for the most part. The Angels, their front office, and Ron Washington and the coaching staff need to give those guys plenty of runway as they develop.

The 2024 Angels might not be great, but there are tons of guys with great potential, and seeing players grow is one of the best parts of being a fan. Neto, O’Hoppe, and Schanuel haven’t even played full major league seasons yet. Their careers are just beginning and the Angels need to give them all of the playing time and resources they need to develop and reach their potential.

Given the Angels’ roster and its lack of expectations heading into this new season, the team and organization really should be focused on cultivating the young talent it already has, which extends to the minor leagues too. It’s time to move past Ohtani and the specter of missed playoffs, the Angels have players with bright futures, and it’s time for them to shine.

Main Image: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

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