When people start talking about the Los Angeles Angels, there are a lot of things that tend to regularly come up. People will talk about how the 40-43 Angels have failed to meet expectations. People will talk about how Mike Trout is going to be the greatest ever in the MLB. People will talk about how Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are both disappointing and hitting below .250 this season.
To be fair, those are all valid talking points and things about this highly publicized Angels team that need to be discussed. However, one of the things those discussions leave out is how great 29-year-old second baseman Howie Kendrick has been for the Halos this season.
Before this season, it seemed like Kendrick had established who he was going to be as a player in the big leagues at the plate. All signs pointed to Kendrick being a guy that would hit around .280, would hit about 10-12 home runs, drive in 60-65 runs, score around 65 runs and steal around 14 bases. However, Kendrick has been much better than that this season.
Through 82 games played, Kendrick is currently hitting .323, the second best average on the team, and has nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 37 runs scored and six stolen bases. Kendrick has been highly productive for the Angels this season, getting on base a ton and hitting for a surprising bit of power, for him at least.
One of the most noticeable things about Kendrick’s season is his decrease in strikeouts this year. Last season he struck out 115 times in 147 games. Through the 82 games this year he has only struck out 58 times. That’s why he has the best walk-to-strikeout ratio of his career at 0.33.
Kendrick has been on a tear this season, but the big bats outside of Trout and Mark Trumbo haven’t been working to drive him in. If Pujols and Hamilton can pick it up, expect Kendrick’s numbers to get even better in the second half of the season.