After the loss of starting pitcher Garrett Richards, people may have written the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim off. But this Angels team, even without Richards for the remainder of the season, can do great things, as they have one of the better lineups in baseball. The lineup has a dynamic 1-2 punch at the top of their order this season that has been a main reason for the Angels’ offensive success this season.
Homegrown talent is a difficult thing for MLB teams to create and for some to keep, but the Angels have two great young outfielders in leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun, and of course MVP candidate, Mike Trout.
Trout is the more well-known name of the dynamic top of the order for the Angels, as he has seemed to find a nice home in the second spot of the order this season behind Calhoun. Trout right now should be the front-runner for the AL MVP, as he is hitting .288 with 28 homeruns and 91 RBI’s already. The spike in RBI’s is directly related to him having Calhoun on base in front of him. Trout set his career-high of RBI’s last season with 97, which is a number that he will blow past this season.
This season didn’t start out well for Calhoun, starting with an ankle injury that kept him out for a little over a month. A great month of June for Calhoun made up for his slow start, as he batted .346 in the month. Calhoun hasn’t slowed down since then, as both July and August were good months for the right fielder. He is having a breakout year, batting .293 with 13 homeruns, 44 RBI’s, and has 66 runs scored, and has become the Angels’ everyday leadoff hitter.
The success of Calhoun and Trout puts a lot of pressure on opposing pitchers, as when Calhoun gets on base in front of Trout, Albert Pujols, or Josh Hamilton, he is likely scoring. Both outfielders also play very well defensively, as shown most recently by Calhoun robbing a homerun against the Boston Red Sox. With Calhoun and Trout at the top of the order, the Angels lineup will be a nightmare for pitchers come this postseason, and for years to come.