A large part of the LA Angels early season woes were due to Andrelton Simmons. For multiple reasons, some his own fault while some being outside factors, Simmons was off to a dreadfully slow start.
However, the best defender in the game has been heating up for the LA Angels. However, while excelling on defense, Andrelton Simmons was lagging at the plate. Over the first 14 games, he was hitting just .196 and spent a large portion of time as the team’s cleanup hitter.
For obvious reasons, Simmons is not (and should not be) a team’s go-to choice to bat fourth. However, due to injuries to the likes of Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton, Simmons was forced into that role.
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And as he struggled, so did the Angels as a team. Injuries to the starting lineup along with slow starts and inconsistencies in the rotation have hampered this team, but the offense’s slow start has been perhaps the most damning.
However, over the past week, Andrelton Simmons has been an absolute monster at the plate. While the team suffered a six game losing streak before Sunday’s win, Simmons is coming off a huge personal victory, and could be turning his season around. Needless to say, the Angels need his bat to stay hot.
While this could obviously just be a hot streak, Simmons was due for a progression to the mean. His timing looked off to start the season, and it seemed he was getting very unlucky when he made solid contact. The ball always seemed to zip right at defenders, resulting in out after out for Simmons.
Over the past week, in which he has a seven-game hitting streak, Simmons has raised his batting average all the way up to .273. While that is just above his career average, it is still short of the average mark of .284 which he has during his time with the Angels. Even more encouraging, it isn’t out of the question for this hot streak to continue, as Simmons hit .292 last season.
When Simmons first started slow, I wasn’t all too worried about him figuring it out at the plate and eventually bring his usual self. However, prior to this past week, I was having growing concerns about just how much value Simmons could provide at the plate.
While maybe it’s unfair for my expectations to change after just one week of good hitting, Simmons looks every bit the player he was the past two seasons, both of those seasons being where he finished top 15 in AL MVP voting.
With Simmons in his groove, Mike Trout being Mike Trout, and Ohtani/Upton duo returning in due time, this offense will see a lot of additional firepower. The only question now is whether Simmons and the offense can survive and keep pace until everyone is fully healthy.