Who Fills Mark Trumbo’s Production In The Los Angeles Angels’ Lineup?
Last season, Trumbo had arguably his best year in terms of run-production for the Halos, as he batted .234 with a career-high in home runs (34) and RBIs (100). There is no question that his big bat will be missed in the Angels’ lineup, as he and Mike Trout were the only consistent hitters for the team last season.
So, with Trumbo gone, the Angels more now than ever will need the last two offseason’s big free agency splashes in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to produce at the high level that earned them their huge contracts.
Since both players arrived to the Halos, neither has performed like the consistent run-producing player that hit 30-plus home runs and drove in 100-plus RBIs a season. Pujols, in his first season with the organization in 2012, was able to meet these standards for the most part by hitting 30 home runs and 105 RBIs; they were down from his typical numbers, however, as he had a slow start to year, as exemplified by his first home run coming in the second month of the season and his below .300 batting average of .285.
The three-time NL MVP last season was on pace to post similar statistics before suffering a torn plantar fascia ligament in his left foot that forced him to miss the last two months of the season. He finished the year with another decline in his batting average at .258 and had 17 home runs and 64 RBIs.
As for Hamilton, in his first season with the Halos in 2013, it was a disaster for the 32-year-old left-handed hitter, as he batted .250 with 21 home runs and 79 RBIs, which were significantly down from the year before where he batted .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs. The start to former AL MVP’s 2013 regular season was beyond a struggle for the month of April, as he batted .204 with two home runs with nine RBIs, and 32 strikeouts.
His struggles early on could have been due to the fact that he was having a hard time becoming acclimated to his new surrounds, but they continued throughout the season as he posted a career-low in on-base percentage at .307, and also the second lowest slugging percentage (.432) and second-highest strikeout total at 158 in his six-year career.
The Halos are hoping that each player can return to form in 2014, as their production will be more heavily depended on and will be a major factor in determining the team’s success next season. Nonetheless, Hamilton and Pujols will have much to prove, and the pressure will be on them to produce like the players that earned them their big contracts and MVP awards.