It’s understandable that Mark Trumbo hasn’t garnered much praise this offseason as the Los Angeles Angels have been one of the most active teams this winter. With spring training almost coming to a close, the focus now shifts on who will be a key factor this season.
Trumbo’s level of success is widely underrated league wide. Many forget that he was second in Rookie of the Year voting two seasons ago with Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays edging him out by 12 first place votes. The Angels handed Trumbo a challenge in 2012 as he was forced to move from his native position of first base to accommodate top-notch free agent signing Albert Pujols.
We saw how hard it was for Gordon Beckham to switch positions early in his career while with the Chicago White Sox, but Trumbo was able to withstand the change of playing six different spots and bash 32 home runs in the meantime. If Trumbo was on any other team he would be seen as a franchise player, but the Angels have so much talent on this current roster he easily gets overlooked. Los Angeles has Trumbo slotted at the designated hitter spot to start the season, however Trumbo has shown the ability to play all three outfield spots, third base and first base, so he could end up anywhere.
Josh Hamilton is as good as it gets in the outfield, but he has missed 55 games in the last two seasons combined. It’s inevitable that the 31-year-old is going to need some time off and the versatility of Trumbo will then loom large. The best MLB teams have depth at every position and guys like Trumbo are extremely valuable.
He made his first All-Star team last year which should be a norm for Trumbo, but he does need to improve upon his ability to get on base. Only Vernon Wells had a lower on-base-percentage than Trumbo last season as the Angels’ slugger finished the year with a .317 OBP. If I was starting a team any time soon I would want to get my hands on Trumbo immediately–the Angels may have to make a decision with Trumbo becoming arbitration eligible after this season.