Firstly, Merry Christmas Eve to all of you, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas Day as well.
Secondly, this might be the most star-studded of the installments I put up. Three All-Stars, one newly-christened innings-eater and the next Maicer.
Let's begin with the man who was the greatest player in baseball until the greatest player in baseball was called up from Salt Lake, Albert Pujols!
ALBERT PUJOLS, FIRST BASEMAN
Um...wow. If Albert can put up a career-average April, these numbers are completely legitimate and reachable. What's even more beautiful about this line of stats, is the BABIP suggesting that these numbers are BELOW expectations. Which means Albert could actually, reasonably speaking, do BETTER than this. MUCH better than this. If he puts up these stats and has a BABIP suggesting these are him being an unlucky hitter, I think it's safe to say we could even expect BETTER of him in 2013. But, I'll stick with what the numbers tell me. I like this. A lot. I'm excited.
Next on the list, the heir to the throne of my namesake, none other than Andrew Romine!
ANDREW ROMINE, INFIELDER
He's our backup guy, our utility infielder that spells Callaspo, Aybar and Kendrick every once in a while. We're not to expect big things. Scioscia likely won't play him more often than the projected 55 games (again, only if one of the other three non-Pujolsian infielders needs a day off or is injured). Probably will get more pinch-running opportunities now that Bourjos is projected to start every day, but as far as the hitting is concerned...meh.
No words can justifiably introduce the next player. MICHAEL NELSON TROUT.
MIKE TROUT, LEFT FIELDER
Not as if he didn't already HAVE MVP-type numbers last season, but for 2013 I'd assume he's got the award on lockdown with stats like these. He breaks 30-50 this time around and scores a ridiculous 148 runs, matching the hit total of this year's "MVP", the savior of the 4000-game eye-test types, Miguel Cabrera. The only thing somewhat troublesome is the strikeout total--160--but you're bound to see a lot of whiffing up at the leadoff spot. If you have more hits than strikeouts, and you're Michael Nelson Trout, all can be forgiven.
Proceed with caution. Handle with care. If used correctly, can produce ridiculous results. Mark Trumbo.
MARK TRUMBO, DESIGNATED HITTER
If used correctly in the lineup--which I think we can all agree is batting FIFTH in the order--and if he maintains his form of pre-ASG 2012, we can see a much more encouraging Mark Trumbo. I think the key to Trumbo succeeding throughout an entire season is batting him fifth, and not trying to make him something he isn't, as Scioscia tried to do batting him cleanup, then sixth, then seventh, then eighth and so on and so forth. He needs one spot, throughout the year, that can be considered HIS SPOT in the order, and I'd say that's fifth. These numbers are contingent on that. Anyway, aside from ranting about lineup placement, these numbers are, given the aforementioned conditions, what we can expect from Trumbo year in and year out. I don't think Trumbo will EVER be a guy we can count on for a high OBP, but if he can put up around a .330 OBP consistently, I'm totally okay with that. I like that he FINALLY cracks 100 RBI, but I'm not sure of how exactly that will happen if Hamilton clears Pujols and Aybar from the bases before he gets to the plate. Oh yeah, Hamilton whiffs a lot. So that will help. All in all, I'd consider THIS a true Trumbo season.
Lastly, the newest Angel, and coming home to where he belongs, Jason Vargas!
JASON VARGAS, STARTING PITCHER
This is nice. With these numbers, I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope Vargas is our number three. I don't care if him being number-four would set up the R-L-R-L-R pattern, I really think Vargas is more capable of being the number three, ahead of Hanson and Blanton, behind Weaver and Wilson. With numbers like these, shoot, he may wind up number-two by season's end. He's another great innings-eating type (which will be nice for the rotation to have three innings-eaters at the end), but he can actually PERFORM in Anaheim VERY well. And we only had to give up Kendrys Morales for him. I like that. I hope he signs an extension to stay in Anaheim, because if this is what he can do in one season, I want to see him fixed in this rotation for years to come.
The final installment will be forthcoming in the next few days, and will contain Jered Weaver, Vernon Wells, Jerome Williams and C.J. Wilson!