Gallery: What to look forward to in Angels' future
Even though the postseason went awry, the Angels have plenty to look forward to for 2015. Here are some of those reasons.
Getty ImagesKelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
MIKE TROUT Need we say more?
Trout should earn the American League's MVP award for a fantastic season. He had 36 home runs and 111 RBI, and there's no reason to believe Trout won't continue to improve. We're getting used to those highlight-reel catches in centerfield, home run bombs and his commitment to fans, too. Trout said "it sucks" that the season ended by getting swept by the Royals, so you can bet he'll do everything he can to ensure he's not white-tail deer hunting in October in the New Jersey woods again.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
GARRETT RICHARDS should be back in top form
Richards wowed as a starter with 13 victories and a 2.61 ERA. He could've helped changed the Angels' postseason fortunes had his season not ended in August knee surgery. Richards is expected to make a full recovery and could be back as early as spring training but expected by the time the season starts. Richards' positive attitude, displayed in tweets before and after his surgery, is a good sign for the Angels and his future.
Getty ImagesLisa Blumenfeld
NEARLY EVERYONE IS BACK on a team that ...
... was the best in baseball in the regular season. The Angels won 98 games and had the best offense in baseball, scoring the most runs -- an average of 4.77 runs per game. None of the Angels' star players are free agents, which means the offense should continue to run like a machine. And the Angels will be looking for redemption that its high-powered offense will transfer over to the 2015 playoffs, too.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
MATT SHOEMAKER & beard highlighting starting rotation
The 28-year-old rookie and his popular black beard will be back, and this time he won't be a surprise. He made the team out of spring training in the bullpen and soon after moved to the starting rotation, where he won 16 games. He was just as effective in the playoffs following a two-week layoff due to an injury. He did more than enough on his end to try to lead the Angels to a victory in Game 2 of the ALDS and would've pitched the pivotal Game 5, had the Angels not been swept. He's quite the deal for the Angels.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
AREFREE OFFSEASON in which the Angels ...
... and GM Jerry Dipoto (pictured) won't be fretting over losing stars. The Angels are mostly tied up financially with the current roster, so there's no concern over losing top players in free agency. That also means the Angels have little wiggle room to go after big-time free agents, but since this team won 98 games, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Angels are expected to continue to succeed in pitching, offense and defense in 2015. Saves the restless moments for October, not December.