Matt Joyce may finally have figured things out at the plate.
After a miserable start to his Angels career, Joyce’s bat has heated up this May. Over his last 11 games, Joyce is mashing to a .281/.439/.469 slash line which equates to a .908 OPS. In these last 11 games, he has walked as much as he’s struck out (7) and has four extra base hits (three doubles and a home run).
Joyce’s late production is a great sign for the Angels’ offense which currently ranks near the bottom of the league in runs scored. No coincidence, since the start of Joyce’s hot streak, the Angels have averaged nearly four runs per game.
The Angels have struggled mightily against right handed pitchers this year and desperately need Joyce to pick up the slack in the middle of the lineup. Having Joyce as a strong lefty presence in the lineup was the driving force behind trading a solid reliever in Kevin Jepsen for him this offseason. The Halos have mustered up a lousy .230/.285/.348 slashline this season vs. righties.
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On the year, Joyce sports an ugly .536 OPS. But the good news is that he seems to have finally overcome his early season struggles, a problem that both David Freese and Albert Pujols also shared when they first arrived in Anaheim. Joyce’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play) still sits at a low .214 so we can expect that he should continue to produce in the coming months.
Hopefully Joyce’s late success will become infectious within the clubhouse and spread to other Angels. The team has the manpower available that can make them the offensive powerhouse they were last season, it’s only a matter of getting the snowball rolling.