The versatility of the superstar Mike Trout, puts him into the No. 2 spot in the Angels’ everyday lineup. Albert Pujols follows in the third spot, then Josh Hamilton rotates between fourth and fifth. These three provide protection for each other and put pressure on the opposition day-in and day-out.
Strikeouts have significantly jumped, but Trout continues to swing at pitches that are in the zone. However, over the strenuous 10-game road trip last week, he was out of the lineup for four games; two in Oakland and two in Houston, including his first-inning in the game on June 3rd.
The Angels would finish the road trip at 3-7 putting their record at 31-28. In the last 30 days Trout has posted a batting average of .338- hitting .286 in June-with an overall batting average of .293. Despite his early struggles offensively, it seems as if he is finally figuring it out and helping the team win ball games.
Pujols benefits greatly with Trout batting ahead of him. For example, 47.2% of the pitches he sees are strikes with Trout batting in front of him, giving Pujols a greater opportunity to drive in runs and make his presence known. With the power that Pujols and Hamilton bring, this slows down the stolen base ability of Mike Trout. So far in 2014, Trout is 7-7 in stolen base attempts. Although he hasn’t been caught stealing, his overall numbers are down from 2012 and 2013 in the stolen base department.
When Trout is out of the lineup pitchers can pitch around the power bats of Pujols and Hamilton to avoid the biggest hitters in the lineup. As a team, the Angels average 4.7 runs per game. This includes Trout being in the lineup. In his four game absence, the Angels averaged only three runs per game. Their record while he was not in the lineup: 1-3. Mike Trout then returned in the finale against the Houston Astros on June 5th, in which he tripled and scored a run, and also drove in a run in the Angels loss.
The Angels rank as one of the best offenses in the league, and for that to happen, they need Trout in the lineup. Many people have voiced their opinions of where they would like to see Trout bat, whether it be lead-off, or in the third spot. Wherever Trout bats though, he will always have a major impact on the game and on the other players in the lineup. This makes the Angels lineup very scary for any pitching staff to face.