No.3 Justin Upton-116.5 MPH (370 ft) vs. Rangers
One day after Trout took the team lead in hardest hit home runs since 2015, outfielder Justin Upton followed with this laser-beam blast (116.5 MPH) just over the left field wall at Angel Stadium.
The home run was Upton’s fourth of the season and 11th RBI to go along with a slash line of .241/.323/.500 in 62 plate appearances. It’s an encouraging sign for the Angels after Upton’s struggles during the last two seasons in Anaheim.
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Justin Upton will play a key role in the Angels’ success this season.
He’s a streaky offensive player, but when he’s locked-in he can be one of the toughest outs and hottest hitters in the league. I think it’s asking a lot of Upton at this stage of his career to play at an All-Star level on a game-to-game basis, but he can still slug when it counts. He’s currently fourth on the team with a .500 slugging percentage behind Jared Walsh (.607), Ohtani (.635), and Trout (.804).
This Halos offense has put up some great numbers thus far while being heavily carried by Trout, Ohtani, and Walsh. Anthony Rendon should be coming back from the injured list soon as well and it’s almost a guarantee he’ll provide his usual production.
Add in a healthy Rendon and consistent Upton in the middle of this lineup and I’d made the argument they have one of, if not the best 2-6 spots in all of Major League Baseball.
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As great as hitting for power is, it’s going to take more than that for the Angels to compete this season. Aside from pitching and defense, offensively we’ll need to see a mix of the slugging and small ball.
Moving runners over or just putting a ball in play isn’t nearly as pretty as 400-plus foot home runs, but it can be the difference in winning and losing.