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Constructing the best possible batting order for the 2017 Angels

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels have gotten a handful of new players this winter, thanks to a busy Billy Eppler, and for us fans, that means we’ve been given a virtual treasure trove of items to discuss for the upcoming 2017 season. It’s always fun to go deep on GM moves, depth pieces, possible starting rotation combos, etc.

As far as these baseball nerd delicacies and endless speculation possibilities go, though, none of them are as satisfying as creating an endless array of possible batting orders. That’s what I’ve been doing in my head all week, or at home on my laptop; as soon as I start to ponder where Yunel Escobar should bat, or if I like Mike Trout more at the #2 spot or the #4 spot (or #1...oh, #3 could work too...), or anything of that nature, I feel a welcomed wave of Angels fanaticism wash over me. I’m 100% certain that many of you can totally relate.

So, with Spring Training about a month out, and the hot stove portion of the offseason mostly behind us, we have a good picture of what the 2017 Angels will look like (barring any surprise Matt Wieters signing, fingers crossed), which means the time is ripe to put together the most optimal Halos batting order possible. Mike Scioscia will, undoubtedly, go the opposite of whatever direction we’re pining for, but we wont let that stop us!

So, let’s see what we can come up with. I’m going to kick this thing off with a few lineups I cooked up this past week (in no particular order):

#1

Cameron Maybin-LF

Mike Trout-CF

Yunel Escobar-3B

Pujols/Cron-DH

Kole Calhoun-RF

Luis Valbuena-1B

Danny Espinosa-2B

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Perez/Maldonado-C

Maybin is coming off a good season, OBP-wise, even though he’s been average to a-little-below-average in that department for his career. So putting him leadoff is based on him continuing to have success getting on base in 2017, while also factoring in his speed (which isn’t as good as it used to be, thanks to injuries, but he’s still got some wheels) . The cleanup spot can go so many ways, and this one just has the normal Scioscia thinking applied.

#2

Cameron Maybin-LF

Mike Trout-CF

Yunel Escobar-3B

Kole Calhoun-RF

Pujols/Cron-DH

Luis Valbuena-1B

Danny Espinosa-2B

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Perez/Maldonado-C

This one is the same as the previous lineup, but I’ve just put Calhoun as cleanup. I’m sure many of you would wince at this one, preferring KC to be higher up in the order, in which case, here you go....

#3

Kole Calhoun-RF

Mike Trout-CF

Yunel Escobar-3B

Albert Pujols-DH

CJ Cron-1B

Ben Revere-LF

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Danny Espinosa-2B

Maldonado/Perez-C

If Maybin is out, and Revere is in LF, then I’m hoping to see Calhoun leading off, Trout second and then Escobar, which sort of jumbles up what we saw for most of last season in the #1-3 spots (typically it was Escobar/Calhoun/Trout). Revere’s speed makes him a leadoff candidate in theory, but his OBP has been sorely lacking for a few seasons now, so I’ll pass on that. Instead, put him sixth and have do his thing on the base paths, and hopefully Simmons or Espinosa can advance him.

#4

Cameron Maybin-LF

Mike Trout-CF

Luis Valbuena-3B

Albert Pujols-DH

Kole Calhoun-RF

CJ Cron-1B

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Danny Espinosa-2B

Perez/Maldonado-C

I wanted to look at a lineup with no Esky, Valbuena at third. This is a fun one, could definitely work, although the tough part here (or in any of these, tbh) is penciling in Pujols, a guy whose health will be suspect for not only this coming season, but for the rest of his contract.

#5

Yunel Escobar-3B

Kole Calhoun-RF

Mike Trout-CF

Albert Pujols-DH

Cron/Valbuena-1B

Cameron Maybin-LF

Danny Espinosa-2B

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Carlos Perez-C

This one is using Mike Scioscia’s line of thinking from last year, and applying it to 2017. He loved the Escobar/Calhoun/Trout combo, which is understandable considering how well it worked, so I started with that and worked down. You just know that if Pujols isn’t on the DL, then Scioscia will want to plug him in at the #4 hole, so I followed suit here. Of course, if Pujols is injured, then it allows Cron to move up to the cleanup spot, perhaps, and then be followed by Valbuena. If we want to get a little crazy, we can tweak this one to look like this:

#6

Yunel Escobar-3B

Kole Calhoun-RF

Luis Valbuena-1B

Mike Trout-CF

Cron/Pujols-DH

Revere/Maybin-LF

Andrelton Simmons-SS

Danny Espinosa-2B

Perez Maldonado-C

You all LOVE Mike Trout in the cleanup spot, right? RIGHT?!?!

So, which one of these gets your excitement levels going the most? Which one makes you feel queasy and/or frightened to death?

More importantly, what lineup have YOU cooked up? Give ‘em to me here in the comments. I know you’ve been thinking about this endlessly, don’t lie.