Over the past couple of weeks, the Los Angeles Angels have been a hot and cold team, but one player whose level of play has stood out is shortstop Erick Aybar.
Aybar is has been one of the Angels’ best hitters over the last 19 games as he has recorded at least one hit in 17 games that includes two home runs with 16 RBIs, as well as eight runs scored over that stretch. The 30-year-old has continued to swing a hot bat into the first eight games of the month of June as he has an impressive triple slash of .370/.438/.519 to go along with six RBIs and three runs scored. This recent high level of play has risen his batting average from .259 to a respectable .286, and put him in a tie for second on the team for most RBIs on the season with Albert Pujols (35). He also leads the Halos in doubles (17), second in hits (68), fourth in runs scored (30) and is second in triples (three).
The eight-year veteran has been one of the Halos’ most consistent players with not only his bat, but also with his glove. Despite being tied for a team-high five errors, Aybar ranks eighth at his position in fielding percentage (.978), second in putouts (82), tied for sixth in double plays turned (37) and is sixth in total innings played (545).
Aybar has been quite impressive on both aspects of the game as he has proven to be one of the Halos’ most important players this year, especially with his improved ability to drive in runs. He is currently on pace for 89 RBIs, which would be a career-best mark by a long margin as the most he has driven in one season was 59 in the 2011 campaign. His production has particular importance given the offensive struggles of Pujols, who is batting just .183 over his last 30 games played, and Raul Ibanez, who is hitting a meager .152 and has just three multi-hit games in 50 games played this season. Aybar played a major part in filling the offensive void of Josh Hamilton and David Freese, who both had lengthy stints on the disabled list this year.
All in all, what this points to is that Aybar has been a key contributor for the Halos’ offense and his production this season has not gone unnoticed.