27-year old switch hitting Erick Aybar will come into the 2011 season as the starting shortstop once again in 2011 but the Angels need more offensive production out of him. Aybar played in 138 games for the Angels last season and he was 135 of 534 (.253 avg, .636 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 5 homers, 29 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. Aybar has a career batting average of .274 with a .683 OPS, so the Angels have faith in Aybar that he will hit batter in 2011. Aybar had 20 errors in 135 games at SS last season while showing slightly below average range. If Aybar doesn’t improve both offensively and defensively in 2011, he could lose P.T.
30-year old switch hitting Maicer Izturis will likely get most of his P.T. at 3B in 2011 but he could also challenge Aybar for ABs if he gets off to a slow start with the bat. Izturis didn’t many any errors in 7 games at SS for the Angels last season while showing pretty good range. Izturis could bump Aybar from the starting SS job at some point in 2011.
31-year old righty swinging Gil Velazquez will likely start the season in AAA for the Angels. He played in 72 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 60 of 241 (.249 avg, .644 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 1 homer, 18 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Velazquez last played in the majors back in 2009 for the Red Sox. He has played in 9 games in parts of two years in the majors and he is 1 for 10 (.100 avg, .282 OPS) with 1 RBI. Velazquez keeps hanging around because of his mitt because he just can’t hit the ball.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS SS IN 2011: C