Howie Kendrick’s Hot Start to July Encouraging for Los Angeles Angels
For Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, June could not end any quicker as it was his worst month offensively this season.
It was a month that saw him hit just .232 with one home run and eight RBIs, while having 18 strikeouts. His slump had dropped his batting average from .294 to .272, and it did not appear that he was swinging the bat with confidence. However, it has been a completely different story so far in July as he is batting an impressive .478 (11-23) with six RBIs and five runs scored in six games played. This includes a 4-for-4 game against the Houston Astros on July 4 and getting at least one RBI in four out of the six games.
With his uptick in production, it is not surprising to see the Angels win five out of the six games this month as he is one of the team’s glue guys. When swinging the bat well, he helps provide opportunities to his teammates. On Saturday, he took advantage of situations with runners in scoring position by driving two runs in with two singles. He is the type of player who when hitting the ball well, his level of play becomes infectious and it certainly has provided a much-needed boost to his confidence along the way.
Throughout his career, Kendrick has proven himself to be a consistent hitter batting around or above .300, and this recent stretch could be what he needs to get back on track to producing like one of the league’s better second basemen. He will have plenty of opportunities to do so this season to put up better overall numbers than of his previous eight seasons in the majors because of how productive of an offense the Angels possess.
Kendrick is currently on pace to hit eight home runs, drive in 72 runs (which would be most since 2010) and set career-best marks in hits (181) and runs scored (90). Although those are lofty statistics for the 30-year-old, they can be achieved due to the fact that he plays in such a potent offense, and the way he is playing so far in July could go a long way in making that possible.