ANAHEIM -- The Angels had to dig deep into their organizational depth in 2021, as they used a franchise-record 64 players, including a club-record 40 pitchers.
The previous high was 60 players utilized by the 2018 Angels, who also set the previous club record of 30 pitchers used that season. So the Angels certainly got a look at plenty of new faces who could factor into their future. Here’s a look at the club’s key players in 2021 and what they could bring in 2022:
RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani ($5.5 million contract in 2022, third-year arbitration-eligible in 2023)
Ohtani had a historic season as a two-way player and is expected to win the American League MVP Award. He proved that he can be both an elite pitcher and hitter in the same season and believes he can still get better next season, especially with an improved lineup around him.
C Max Stassi (third-year arbitration-eligible)
Stassi dealt with a few injuries, including a concussion, but again had a solid year both offensively and defensively to solidify himself as the club’s primary catcher going forward. He needs to show he can stay healthy over a course of a full season but has otherwise been solid over the last two years.
C Kurt Suzuki (free agent after World Series)
Suzuki was a beloved teammate and helped develop some of the club’s young pitchers. But he’s set to be a free agent and could ultimately opt to retire after an impressive 15-year career.
C Matt Thaiss (under team control through 2026)
Thaiss converted back to catching at Triple-A Salt Lake and didn’t see much time in the Majors this year. But the Angels believe he’s a capable full-time catcher now and could figure into the club’s plans next year.
1B Jared Walsh (under team control through 2025)
Walsh proved his breakout rookie season in 2020 was no fluke and established himself as the club’s first baseman of the future. He was an All-Star for the first time and had 29 homers and 98 RBIs in 144 games, while playing solid defense as well.
2B David Fletcher (signed through 2025, plus options for 2026 and 2027)
Fletcher had a surprisingly down season offensively, hitting .262 in 157 games, but was one of the best defensive second basemen in the league. He’ll need to improve his offense next year, as he was too inconsistent in 2021, going from hot to cold too often.
3B Anthony Rendon (signed through 2026)
Rendon had a forgettable season marred by injuries, including season-ending hip surgery in August. But he’s expected to be fully healthy by Spring Training and his track record suggests he should be able to bounce back.
SS Luis Rengifo (under team control through 2026)
Rengifo spent most of the year at Triple-A Salt Lake before serving as shortstop down the stretch. He looked improved offensively and defensively but it’s unclear if he showed enough to start at short next year.
INF Jack Mayfield (under team control through 2026)
Mayfield showed some surprising power in the second half and filled in well defensively at third base in Rendon’s absence. He played his way into a potential utility role next year.
INF/OF Phil Gosselin (third-year arbitration-eligible)
Gosselin was forced to play out of position, serving as the club’s left fielder down the stretch, but he showed some pop offensively and is a versatile defender. Like Mayfield, he put himself in position to compete for a utility role next year.
LF Justin Upton (under contract through 2022)
Upton has dealt with injuries in recent years and it was his back that plagued him in 2021. He’s going into the final season of his five-year contract and is due to make $28 million.
CF Mike Trout (under contract through 2030)
Trout’s season was ruined by a right calf strain suffered in mid-May that surprisingly ended his season. The three-time AL MVP is expected to be fully healthy heading into Spring Training and is still in his prime.
RF Jo Adell (under team control through 2026)
Adell looked much better than he did as a rookie, as he looked more confident and was a much better fielder. But his offensive numbers still haven’t fully translated just yet, so he still has more to prove in 2022.
CF Brandon Marsh (under team control through 2027)
Marsh showed he can play an above-average center field and showed some glimpses of what he’s capable of offensively. But like Adell, he needs to improve at the plate to be counted on as a regular in ’22.
LF Taylor Ward (under team control through 2025)
Ward showed progress in 2021, as he’s become a capable Major League hitter and has improved defensively in the outfield. But he dealt with injuries, including a non-displaced rib fracture, and will compete for a spot in the outfield next year.
CF Juan Lagares (free agent after World Series)
Lagares is still a plus-defender in the outfield but doesn’t offer much offensively. He could be brought back to compete as an extra outfielder, but he’s set to be a free agent.
SP Alex Cobb (free agent after World Series)
Cobb was acquired in a trade with the Orioles and was solid when healthy, carrying a 3.76 ERA in 93 1/3 innings. He's set to be a free agent but the Angels could look to bring the 34-year-old veteran back.
SP Dylan Bundy (free agent after World Series)
Bundy had a rough year after a breakout season in 2020, as he had a 6.06 ERA in 90 2/3 innings. He's set to be a free agent and it doesn't seem likely he'll return.
SP José Suarez (under team control through 2026)
Suarez was a top prospect for a reason and emerged in 2021, posting a 3.75 ERA in 98 1/3 innings. He pitched well enough to earn a spot in the rotation next year.
SP Patrick Sandoval (under team control through 2026)
Much like Suarez, Sandoval put himself on the radar this season, posting a 3.62 ERA in 87 innings. He's also slated to be in the rotation next year but has to prove he can be durable after missing the end of the season with a back injury.
SP Griffin Canning (under team control through 2025)
Canning was expected to be a big part of the rotation but faltered with a 5.60 ERA in 62 2/3 innings. He also suffered a season-ending back injury similar to Sandoval's and has a lot to prove in 2022.
SP Jaime Barria (under team control through 2024)
Barría showed flashes as a starting pitcher down the stretch and had a 4.61 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. He's set to be out of options next year, so he'll have to make the club out of Spring Training or be exposed to waivers.
SP Reid Detmers (under team control through 2027)
Detmers, the club’s No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, got his first taste of the Majors, posting a 7.40 ERA in five starts. He struck out 19 in 20 2/3 innings, as his velocity increased in 2021, but will need to work on his command to limit walks and homers.
SP Chris Rodriguez (under team control through 2027)
Rodriguez was electric when healthy, but injuries again plagued the former top prospect. He had a 3.64 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings, serving as both a starter and a reliever, but suffered a season-ending lat strain that could have him miss the early part of next season.
SP Janson Junk (under team control through 2027)
Junk was acquired in the trade that sent Andrew Heaney to the Yankees and made four starts down the stretch, posting a 3.86 ERA in 16 1/3 innings. He's considered a depth piece in the rotation next year.
SP Packy Naughton (under team control through 2027)
Naughton was acquired at the 2020 Trade Deadline from the Reds for Brian Goodwin and recorded a 6.35 ERA in 22 2/3 innings this season. The lefty gives the Angels some depth, as he could start or relieve next year.
RP Raisel Iglesias (free agent after World Series)
Iglesias was acquired in a trade with the Reds and had an incredible season, racking up 34 saves with 103 strikeouts and 12 walks in 70 innings. He's set to be a free agent and the Angels will try to bring him back on a multi-year deal. He’s also likely to be extended a qualifying offer.
RP Mike Mayers (third-year arbitration eligible)
Mayers had a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings and was impressive in the second half, when he posted a 2.78 ERA in 32 1/3 innings. He's eligible for arbitration but is likely to be tendered a contract after his strong second half.
RP Steve Cishek (free agent after World Series)
Cishek struggled early but ended up with a solid season, recording a 3.42 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. He's set to be a free agent and he's not considered likely to re-sign with the Angels.
RP Austin Warren (under team control through 2027)
Warren emerged as a key contributor to the bullpen as a rookie, posting a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. He should have an even bigger role next year.
RP Andrew Wantz (under team control through 2027)
Wantz had a similar trajectory as Warren and showed plenty of flashes of potential, posting a 4.94 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. He'll need to cut down on homers and walks going forward.
RP Junior Guerra (fourth-year arbitration-eligible)
Guerra came in with a solid track record but struggled with a 6.06 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. He's set to be eligible for arbitration for a final time and is likely to be non-tendered.
RP José Quijada (under team control through 2026)
Quijada finished the year strong and had a 4.56 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. He put himself in position to be one of the club's primary lefty relievers next year.
RP Sam Selman (under team control through 2025)
Selman was acquired in the trade that sent Tony Watson to the Giants but mostly struggled with the Angels, posting a 6.35 ERA in 17 innings. But he had some previous success in the Majors with the Giants over the last three seasons and provides left-handed relief depth.