When they were prospects: Trout

He's the 1: Little doubt reigning AL MVP deserved top ranking in 2011

When they were prospects: Trout

There is still time for Bryce Harper to win the Harper vs. Mike Trout debate, but so far we look pretty smart for having Trout at No. 1 in 2011 in rankings by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Around the Horn: Corner infield

Familiar tandem of Pujols, Freese aims to build off last season for Angels

Around the Horn: Corner infield

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Tempe, Ariz., by Feb. 19, it's time to dissect the Angels' 2015 roster. This is the third of a six-part Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backup options heading into the season. Next up: Corner infield. (previously: middle infield, catcher)

ANAHEIM -- The Angels know Albert Pujols and David Freese will play the corners in 2015, marking the fourth time in the last six years they've shared the same infield (twice in St. Louis, twice in Anaheim).

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

Buxton looking to defend No. 1 slot with 2015 rankings set to be unveiled

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

After an offseason filled with transactions and intrigue, Spring Training is fast approaching. That means it's time for the unveiling of the latest MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 prospects in baseball will be revealed Friday, with the Top 50 being unveiled during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET, and the entire list on MLB.com. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, as well as MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels agree to deal with Freese, avoid arbitration

Angels agree to deal with Freese, avoid arbitration

ANAHEIM -- The Angels avoided arbitration with third baseman David Freese on Wednesday, agreeing on a $6.425 million salary that stood as the midpoint of the numbers previously exchanged by both sides.

The Angels' only remaining arbitration-eligible players are outfielder Matt Joyce, a pending free agent, and starting pitcher Garrett Richards, who attained Super Two status this offseason.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After wait, Shoemaker sees dreams come to fruition

Undrafted righty happy to find success in bigs, become new father

After wait, Shoemaker sees dreams come to fruition

Danielle Shoemaker, wife of the bearded sensation on the Angels' pitching staff, likes to say "God wanted to give us all our blessings at once," with good reason.

Danielle is alluding to her husband, Matt Shoemaker, who went undrafted in 2008 and willed his way into the American League Rookie of the Year Award discussion in 2014, two years before his 30th birthday.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fred Lynn's favorite player: Mike Trout

Fred Lynn's favorite player: Mike Trout

As a former outfielder, Fred Lynn pays extra attention to the players who roam the outfield today. One player stands above the rest: Lynn's favorite current player, Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

Trout, who burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2012 like Lynn did back in 1975, when he won AL Rookie of the Year and MVP honors, can seemingly do it all. That's why Lynn admires him.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels to keep Baldoquin in Minor League camp

Cuban prospect won't receive Spring Training invitation due to infield depth

Angels to keep Baldoquin in Minor League camp

ANAHEIM -- Angels fans who want to get an up-close look at Roberto Baldoquin this spring will probably have to walk over to the Minor League side of the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex.

The Angels have opted against inviting the 20-year-old Cuban middle infielder to Major League Spring Training, mostly because they'll have a lot of infielders competing for jobs, but also because they want to give Baldoquin a chance to develop on his own time without added pressure.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

WAR figures show Angels among top outfields

Angels, Marlins also among top units, according to the metrics

WAR figures show Angels among top outfields

A case can be made that the Royals' Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain form the best defensive outfield in Major League history. Factoring in offense, the world of analytics narrowly favors Kansas City's outfield over those of the Angels and Marlins.

Using WAR available at FanGraphs, I calculated the top 10 outfields in MLB -- three starters and one backup -- based on 2014 performance. The Royals' four outfielders -- with Alex Rios replacing Nori Aoki for 2015 -- had a combined 14.8 WAR last year, which would give them the top outfield in MLB. Completing the top 10 outfields, with one reserve included, are the Angels (14.6), Marlins (14.5), Orioles (13.6), Cardinals (13.0), Pirates (12.8), Giants (10.9), Dodgers (10.5), Tigers (9.8) and Nationals (9.3).

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos' Hamilton expects big season at plate

Halos' Hamilton expects big season at plate

ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton's personal goals haven't changed, even though expectations from the outside have plunged.

"I'm gonna say .300, 30 and 100," Hamilton said Sunday night, referencing his batting average, home run and RBI totals when asked about his own expectations for 2015. "Keep it simple. Those are very obtainable."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weaver weighs in on offseason, goals for this year

Weaver weighs in on offseason, goals for this year

ANAHEIM -- At one point last season, Jered Weaver stepped on the scale, saw "199" and committed himself to getting bigger.

On Sunday night, 25 days before reporting for Spring Training, the Angels' ace weighed in at a career-high 224.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aybar preparing for new double-play partner

With longtime second baseman Kendrick gone, Angels to audition quartet of candidates

Aybar preparing for new double-play partner

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Tempe, Ariz., by Feb. 19, it's time to dissect the Angels' 2015 roster. This is the second of a seven-part Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backup options heading into the season. Next up: Middle infield.

ANAHEIM -- For the first time since basically his Class A days, 31-year-old shortstop Erick Aybar will be turning double plays with someone other than Howie Kendrick.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iannetta's health, production vital to Angels' success

Veteran may eclipse career high in starts as main man behind plate

Iannetta's health, production vital to Angels' success

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Tempe, Ariz., by Feb. 19, it's time to dissect the Angels' 2015 roster. This is the first of a seven-part Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backup options heading into the season. First up: Catchers.

ANAHEIM -- Chris Iannetta's career high in starts behind the plate is 105, done for the 2011 Rockies team that dealt Miguel Olivo to basically hand Iannetta the everyday job.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney, Newcomb on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

Dodgers' 18-year-old Urias leads list, followed by White Sox's Rodon, Jays' Norris

Heaney, Newcomb on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

Though all of the left-handers who ranked on last year's preseason Top 10 are still eligible to be considered for inclusion this year, there are still several new faces on this list. Julio Urias, Henry Owens and Andrew Heaney are the holdovers, albeit with their order reversed from last year.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Photo of the Day: Mike Trout goes fishing

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Photo of the Day: Mike Trout goes fishing

With the offseason winding down, players across Major League Baseball are milking every last second out of their free time before heading back into the cages to tattoo baseballs and such. With that in mind, Mike Trout was up and at 'em early on Tuesday with his dad and brother playing a warped version of "The Most Dangerous Game."

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Mike Trout's greatness inspires fantastic fan art

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Mike Trout's greatness inspires fantastic fan art

Signs an MLB player is doing pretty well:

1. He's an All-Star in three of his first four seasons.

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Herrera released to play in Japan

Righty appeared in 20 games for Angels in '14

Herrera released to play in Japan

The Angels have released Yoslan Herrera in order for the right-hander to play for Yokohama in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan, the team announced Monday.

Herrera, whom the Angels had signed to a Minor League deal in early December, spent the bulk of the 2014 season with Triple-A Salt Lake where he went 4-4 with a 2.52 ERA across 41 appearances.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salas, Cowgill agree to pacts to avoid arbitration

Salas, Cowgill agree to pacts to avoid arbitration

ANAHEIM -- The Angels avoided arbitration with right-hander Fernando Salas and outfielder Collin Cowgill on Friday. Salas received $1.37 million in his second of three arbitration-eligible years and Cowgill, a Super Two, got $995,000.

The club has not announced the agreements.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels see a lot to like in Cuban prospect Baldoquin

Halos' evaluations centered around his extreme work ethic as much as talent

Angels see a lot to like in Cuban prospect Baldoquin

ANAHEIM -- It was the middle of October in Boca Chica, a popular beachside city along the Dominican Republic's southern coast, and it was time for the Angels to see what this Roberto Baldoquin kid was really made of.

The 20-year-old middle infielder had spent most of the summer and ensuing fall showcasing at other teams' facilities on the baseball-crazed island. Now he was back with the Angels, who had three front-office members, an entire Dominican scouting department and their Major League first-base coach on hand for back-to-back days of exclusive, excruciating workouts.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels sign trio to one-year deals to avoid arbitration

Five players remain eligible after club secures Santiago, Ramos and Butera

Angels sign trio to one-year deals to avoid arbitration

ANAHEIM -- The Angels avoided arbitration with left-handers Hector Santiago and Cesar Ramos and catcher Drew Butera on Thursday.

Santiago will receive $2.29 million in 2015, while Ramos will get $1,312,500 and Butera nets $987,500.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Legendary status for Trout after 3 seasons

Legendary status for Trout after 3 seasons

A star with the first crack of the bat, Ken Griffey Jr. -- one of Mike Trout's early heroes -- is in the ballpark with the Angels' center fielder as you evaluate the first three seasons of their careers. Barry Bonds is not in the conversation. Trout dwarfs the home-run king.

To identify an outfielder as great as Trout through three Major League seasons, you have to dig into the past. Not since the Golden Era -- from the late 1940s into the early 1970s, when giants roamed the landscape -- have we seen a player rivaling Trout's total impact.

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reliever Mattheus signs Minor League deal with Angels

Reliever Mattheus signs Minor League deal with Angels

ANAHEIM -- The Angels signed former Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invitation on Wednesday.

Mattheus posted a 2.85 ERA in 66 appearances for the Nats as recently as 2012, but has fallen off the past two seasons. The 31-year-old right-hander struggled through a 6.37 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP in 37 appearances in 2013, a season that saw him spend time on the disabled list for punching a locker, then compiled only 8 2/3 innings in the big leagues last season.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Depth charts at heart of Angels' offseason strategy

Dipoto continuously tweaks six-year model

Depth charts at heart of Angels' offseason strategy

ANAHEIM -- Within the laptop of every Angels front-office executive is an Excel spreadsheet with projected depth charts for each of the next six seasons. At each position is a prioritized list of all the players in the organization who can conceivably play in the Major Leagues for each given year.

Every Monday, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto will update the file and send it around to his executives so everyone has a sense of where they stand.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arbitration-eligible players to shape Halos' 2015 payroll

Arbitration-eligible players to shape Halos' 2015 payroll

ANAHEIM -- The Angels opened last season with a franchise-record $154.5 million payroll. If they don't make another change to their Major League roster this offseason -- a likely scenario at this point -- they project to open 2015 with a payroll of roughly $145 million, down from last year but still the third largest in club history.

This month will have a major say in that exact total, as the Angels aim to come to terms with eight arbitration-eligible players.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels acquire third-base prospect from Braves

Kubitza, right-hander Hyatt join LA; Sanchez headed to Atlanta

Angels acquire third-base prospect from Braves

ANAHEIM -- The Angels acquired what they hope is their third baseman of the future on Thursday, getting Kyle Kubitza from the Braves in a prospect swap that sent 17-year-old starter Ricardo Sanchez to Atlanta.

The Angels also picked up pitching prospect Nate Hyatt in the deal, and designated first baseman/outfielder Marc Krauss for assignment in order to make room for Kubitza on their 40-man roster.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout, Kershaw honored as LA's top sportsmen

Trout, Kershaw honored as LA's top sportsmen

Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday were named as the Los Angeles Sports Council's 2014 Sportsmen of the Year.

Trout and Kershaw, who won their respective league's Most Valuable Player Award, will be honored during the 10th Annual L.A. Sports Awards on March 15 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels in the Outfield actor Taylor Negron dead at 57

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Angels in the Outfield actor Taylor Negron dead at 57

Taylor Negron passed away on Jan. 10, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Negron -- a writer, performer, comedian and actor -- is perhaps best known for his roles in "The Last Boy Scout" with Bruce Willis, "Young Doctors in Love" and a brief appearance in the 1999 adaptation of "Stuart Little."

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