By: Kyle May
The Angels are riding a four game winning streak headed into their weekend series against the Minnesota Twins, although the Halos’ bats have not found an early rhythm like many people thought they would. Here are three reasons why the Angels are poised to start slugging very soon.
1. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are hitting a combined .212 through the team’s first 9 games
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and Albert Pujols has been the most consistent offensive player in all of baseball over the last ten years. Although they are both off to a slow start, they are bound to turn it around soon. In fact, the Angels series versus the Twins this weekend might be exactly what these two stars need to get going. In 26 career games against the Twins, Mike Trout has a .333 batting average and has hit five homeruns. In 34 career games against the Twins, Albert Pujols has a .288 batting average and has hit four homeruns. With Kole Calhoun hitting in the five spot in the order, Trout and Pujols are bound to break out soon.
2. The Angels have a team 85% contact rate, but only a team batting average of .229
With a contact rate as high as 85%, the Angels are bound to see more balls that are put into play fall for hits. The Angels new left side of the infield duo of Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons has a 13% better combined career contact rate than the former duo of David Freese and Erick Aybar. This is important because Yunel Escobar has taken on the leadoff man role and needs to be getting on base for Trout, Pujols, and Calhoun.
3. The Angels have only hit 3 homeruns in their first 9 games
The Angels have lots of power in their lineup. So far, Mike Trout, Yunel Escobar, and Geovany Soto are the only players to homer for the Angels. General manager Billy Eppler believes that Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, and CJ Cron all can be 20+ homerun guys this season. The Angels finished in the top ten in the MLB in homeruns in 2014 and 2015, so if that is any indicator, the Angels are poised to start hitting some long balls.
The Angels are bound to start heating up offensively. The encouraging thing is that the Angels have found a way to string together some wins early on, even with their offense lagging. Look for the Angels to start hitting well in their upcoming sets versus the Twins, White Sox, and Mariners before battling the reigning World Series Champions, the Kansas City Royals.