Going into 2010, do the Angels have the deepest team in the major leagues? A cursory look at their own team website depth chart would indicate that the holes created by the absence of any one or two position players would not doom the team to defeat...
At 1B, if Kendry Morales goes down, Brandon Wood is listed as ready for action. An OPS+ of 137 in 2009 backed up by a minor league 2009 OPS of .910 is SWEET.
At 2B, 3B and SS, Maicer Izturis backs up Howie Kendrick, Wood and Erick Aybar, with Wood a 3rd string SS, Aybar an emergency 2B and Freddy Sandoval the backup's backup at the hot corner. So the infielders with a 2009 OPS+ of 102 and 103 respectively are backed up by Issy's OPS+ of 107. And Wood's pop that should translate to the majors makes the above average-to-elite gloves here a rare and potent arsenal.
At Catcher Mike Napoli is relieved by Jeff Mathis, with Ryan Budde and Bobby Wilson most likely at AAA waiting the call. We'll have all year to debate this.
At DH, Hideki Matsui has sore knees enough that Napoli should see time, but the website says Kendrick may appear there too. The OPS+ of 132 in Yankee stadium last year has a backup OPS+ of 118.
With Juan Rivera, Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu, we have an old outfield. The backups are all minor leaguers (besides the pipedream of Matsui playing in the field). Reggie Willits is listed as the 2nd string CF with Terry Evans and Chris Pettit being listed as CF depth as well as RF and LF backups.
The dropoff here could be severe, but while other teams would predicate all hope on career minor leaguers like Willits, Pettit and Evans rising to claim major league playing time if given the opportunity, the Angels have the luxury of starting off with 2009 OPS+ of 107 in LF, 126 in CF and 116 in RF with no reason to believe there will be a drastic drop in production in Rivera, Hunter or Abreu. Even if one were to go down, we are still ahead of the game.
The three keys to maximizing our depth in 2010 are...
- Izturis produces off the bench
- No steep decline in the AARP outfield
- As much Napoli as as possible.