There are tons of Major League Baseball players to watch and for fans to root for from each team. However, California is the place for fans to watch the most stars.
There are five Major League teams in California which the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles, Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants. All of these teams are unique in their own ways which include the types of talent they have on each team, the locations in which the teams reside, and the types of fanbases that root for them. Each of these teams offers star talent no matter where they are positioned in projected standings and having them all play in one state is something surprising that many don’t think about.
San Francisco Giants/Oakland Athletics
I decided to group teams based on their rivalries and the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics hold a rivalry called the Bay Bridge series due to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which connects the two cities. We’ll start with the San Francisco Giants, which is a team that has slowed down since winning three championships in five years going back to the last decade in 2010. They still retain some of the players that have helped them win in the past which include left fielder Hunter Pence, catcher Buster Posey, and shortstop Brandon Crawford. These three names alone are why people should go watch the Giants play, as Hunter Pence brings a unique personality to any team he plays on and his energy helped contribute to two Giants championships in 2012 and 2014.
Buster Posey is an absolute Giants favorite as he dominated the sport on arrival both offensively and defensively, he won NL Rookie of the year in 2010 and NL MVP in 2012 along with the three championships he helped win in both of those years and 2014. Finally, Brandon Crawford has been popular among Giants fans due to the fact he is a homegrown prospect similar to Posey in which he has only known one organization, he is also known for this exceptional defensive capabilities by winning three gold gloves in a row from 2015-2017 and was two-time All-Star in 2015 and 2018.
The Oakland Athletics are always the surprise team of the AL West, the division in which they compete, because of the surprise moves they make in order to stay competitive. They are known as a small market team that tends to get creative in order to find ways to get wins which tends to work out for them as they found themselves in the wildcard game in 2019 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Some standout players from the Athletics include Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Sean Manaea, all of whom have helped the Athletics succeed recently as they hope to return to the postseason.
We’ll start with the only homegrown talent out of the Athletics system, Matt Chapman, who is turning into one of the best defensive third basemen in the game with back to back gold glove awards in 2018 and 2019 with his first All-Star appearance coming in 2019. Since going over to Oakland, Khris Davis had found his power stride by having three consecutive seasons in which he hit 40+ home runs and drove in over 100 RBIs, he was the main source of power in the Athletics lineup despite having a low batting average. Sean Manaea is shaping into being the ace of the Oakland pitching staff, he has shown signs of promise since being traded to the Athletics from the Royals as he progressively starting getting better as he got more experience in the big leagues. He also threw a no-hitter in 2018 before being sidelined in 2019 due to an injury, whenever baseball comes back to look for him to perform big for Oakland.
Los Angeles Dodgers/Los Angeles Angels
We turn attention down south from the Bay area to southern California, where a lone freeway connects these two teams that have arguably some of the best talents in baseball. This series is called the Freeway series and we’ll start with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are at the top of their game in terms of pure talent and development as they seem to not slow down with the exciting new players they have in their farm system. It has been rough for Dodger fans as their team went to the World Series twice in both 2017 and 2018 and couldn’t see the deal in either appearance. However, the team itself is so loaded with talent and young players in their farm system that it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they keep making more World Series runs.
Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers starting first basemen, burst onto the scene in 2017, taking home the Rookie of the Year honors and only two years later winning his first MVP award along with a gold glove to boot. While he is toward the end of his career as far as being the ace of the staff, Clayton Kershaw is still one of the most dominant pitchers ever, winning three Cy Young awards, eight All-Star appearances, and an MVP award which is impressive coming from a pitcher. While Kershaw is still a dominant pitcher, his successor in terms of leading the rotation make come from Walker Buehler, who is just starting to find his true form as he made his first All-Star appearance last season and seemed primed for success should the season start this year.
Now we will take a trip down the Interstate 5 towards Anaheim where the Los Angeles Angels play where they have plenty of talent to witness for fans. The Angels are loaded with a lot of talent already, while they have a major weakness on the pitching side of things, their lineup is easily one of the tops in baseball. First off, they have arguably the best baseball player of this generation in Mike Trout, who is shattering records by staying consistent in production since he made his Major League debut back in 2011. They also have a two-way superstar in Shohei Ohtani who has shown that he can perform consistently well at both pitching and hitting, his rise to stardom has definitely helped the Angels as the League hasn’t witnessed something like this in a while.
Anthony Rendon used to be one of the main stars on the Washinton Nationals, now he is star third basemen of the Angels and he will be playing there for a while as he signed a seven-year deal during the last offseason. He helps add much needed protection behind superstar Mike Trout and also helps lock down a position that has been barren for the Angels in the past. Add those three stars with a veteran presence in Albert Pujols who used to be one of the most feared hitters in the game, along with a super defensive player in Andrelton Simmons at shortstop and you have a super competitive team.
San Diego Padres
Unfortunately for the San Diego Padres, there isn’t really a cross-town rival for them, however, they are in a competitive division in the NL West that has belonged to the Dodgers for some time. They are a team that has made splashes in acquiring talent in the past, however, nothing seemed to materialize like when they brought in Matt Kemp, Will Myers, and Craig Kimbrel back in 2015. They took a step back and waited for more talent to hit the free-agent market and try to build around the superstars they added with young talent.
Those two superstars are first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Manny Machado who are both in it for the long term and after signing long term deals back in 2018 and 2019. They also have the organizational depth in their farm system to build up a consistent franchise should most of the players in their farm pan out. They have a young pitcher by the name of Chris Paddack who burst onto the scene in 2019 and if his performance stays consistent along with his personality, then they could have a future ace in their rotation. While it may seem tough for the Padres to dethrone the talented Dodgers, they definitely have potential and shouldn’t be overlooked should there by a baseball season in 2020.