Los Angeles Angels fans have watched first baseman Mark Trumbo with resigned frustration for much of 2013 as he has taken wild swings at pitches way out of the strike zone, an approach that has earned him a staggering 163 strikeouts and a meager .245 batting average thus far.
Boy, what a difference a week can make; as I type these words, Trumbo has just blasted yet another home run to cap off a ridiculous week-long tear in which he has hit four home runs, knocked in nine runs, and averaged .481 along with an absurd .1074 slugging percentage. Not too bad for a $500k salary.
I know, it’s just a week. But it’s a week that, if nothing else, has given Halo fans a glimpse of just how dangerous this offense can be when Trumbo is in the zone. Of course no one expects him to be knocking the cover off the ball the way he’s been in September, but a productive Trumbo does wonders to make the Los Angeles lineup the league’s most feared. Throw in a healthy Albert Pujols, Mike Trout‘s usual brilliance and Josh Hamilton looking like the Josh Hamilton of 2012, and you start to get an offense that was more of what Arte Moreno had in mind when he broke the bank this past winter.
Even if Pujols returns to the Angel lineup completely healthy by Opening Day, Trumbo will have to spell him from first base duties on occasion. Mike Scioscia–or whoever is managing the Halos next year–will feel much more confident in Trumbo if he can produce at a high level.
As for his plate discipline? Trumbo’s still young, and plate discipline is something that improves with experience. Moreover, if the rest of the Angels lineup is doing its job, Trumbo will almost certainly see more quality pitches. And if he’s able to do with those pitches what he’s done this past week, look out, American League.