24-year old righty swinging Howie Kendrick is set up for a career season as long as he can stay healthy which has been an issue with him. He played in 88 games last season for the Angels and he was 109 for 338 (.322 avg, .797 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 5 homers and 39 RBIs. Look for Kendrick to compete for the American League Batting Title in 2008. But, Kendrick is a butcher in the field as his range is limited and he made 9 errors in only 86 games at 2B.
The loser of the battle for the starting shortstop job between Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar will be Kendrick’s backup. Either of these guys would be a huge defensive upgrade for the Angels but neither is on the same planet as Kendrick as a hitter.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B+