The Los Angeles Angels didn't do a lot of things right in the 2023 season, as evidenced by their 73-89 record. The bullpen was shaky at best, the rotation regressed, they struggled in the field, and struggled mightily with runners in scoring position.
One thing this Angels team did well for most of the year was hit for power. Their 231 home runs were good for third in the American League and fifth overall. They were ahead of some of the best teams in baseball in long balls including the Rays, Astros, and Phillies. The Angels were still 16th in runs scored this past season because they struggled to find other ways to score.
While the Angels will hopefully hit better with runners in scoring position, the chances of them ranking in the top five in home runs again in 2024 feel slim.
Power can go from an Angels strength to a weakness in a blink of an eye this offseason
Let's address the first obvious reason why. Shohei Ohtani is a free agent. Ohtani led the AL with 44 home runs despite missing the final month of the season. He was fourth in the majors in long balls and just three shy of tying the Angels single-season club record. That, obviously, is insane. The Angels could be without him in 2024 which would almost certainly mean they'd lose many homers.
After Ohtani, the power isn't super easy to find. Brandon Drury hit 26, and that could easily be a number he matches or tops in 2024. He had a great first season with the Angels, and there's no reason to believe he won't be good again. There is reason to believe he'll be traded, however, as the Angels could look to rebuild if Ohtani leaves.
Ranking third on the 2023 Angels in home runs was Hunter Renfroe with 19. He was put on waivers at the end of August and will certainly not be back in 2024. After Renfroe was Mike Trout who hit 18 in 82 games played/ Can Trout get back to hitting 40 home runs? Absolutely. Will he stay healthy enough to get there? That's hard to count on.
Luis Rengifo was fifth on the Angels in home runs with 16. He's a guy who should see fairly regular playing time but if Ohtani returns, where exactly does he fit in every day? He can be the Anthony Rendon replacement for when he lands on the IL, but there isn't a clear full-time spot out there for him without an injury.
Even if Ohtani stays, there're too many injury questions to expect the Angels to be among the league leaders in home runs. They're going to have to find another way to score runs in 2024.