Mark Trumbo is one of the few great values on the Los Angeles Angels roster. With just a $540,000 salary this year, he’s the only player, along with Mike Trout, of course, who is producing at well above his pay grade with 25 home runs and 73 RBI on the season.
Lately, however, Trumbo has looked considerably uncomfortable at the plate. He is chasing pitches out of the strike zone, striking out far too frequently, and visibly frustrated with his at-bats. In the first baseman’s last 14 contests, he is just 7-58 (.121) with 22 strikeouts.
Despite his struggles, I am still bullish on Trumbo. He has been thrust into a high-pressure role on offense in light of Albert Pujols‘ injury and Josh Hamilton‘s great disappearing act at the plate. And with his minimal salary this year—the last before he is eligible for arbitration—Trumbo is still a bargain despite his .235 season average.
I expect once Pujols returns to the lineup next year and Hamilton picks up his production a little, we can expect to see .250-.260, 35 home run, 100-110 RBI production from Trumbo on a yearly basis. He’s bound to see better pitches once the offense clicks as a whole, and with just a little more plate discipline he will be a very difficult out.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of Trumbo’s arbitration. He can point to his power numbers, and the Angels can point to his strikeouts and low average. The team would probably be willing to go a little higher were they not burdened with the Pujols and Hamilton contracts, but even so they have Trumbo until 2017.