The time is now for the Los Angeles Angels. They've got the players: sluggers like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton; baseball's best young player in outfielder Mike Trout; and pitchers like C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver. They've spent the money – a Yankees-like $300 million over the past two years. They're not built to just contend, but to win a championship. If they feel the pressure that comes from those expectations, they aren't showing it: At spring training in Tempe, Arizona, the Angels seem relaxed and confident. "We go karting, target shooting. I put together group dinners, just fun stuff we can do with the guys," says Wilson. "They're looser than ever because they have such a good team," says ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian. "It's easy to be confident with this kind of offense."
Howie Kendrick: 29, second base.
Kendrick is the team's resident tech geek. "I always keep up on the latest in electronics – when the new stuff comes out, I know about it," says Kendrick, a career .292 hitter drafted out of college by the Angels in 2002. "He's the most technologically advanced dude I ever played with," adds Wilson. Kendrick is also an avid photographer: "When we go on the road, it gets me out of my hotel room, and I kinda fell in love with it. I like going out and talking to people and taking their picture."
[Howie wears a striped polo shirt by Gap, $30; Alpha Khaki by Dockers, $68.]
Credit: Photograph by Michael Muller