3) LA Angels outfielder Taylor Ward took an unfortunate step back in 2023
Like Sandoval, Taylor Ward was an Angel who broke out in 2022 and was looking to back that up with an all-star caliber 2023 season. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen.
Ward had an .833 OPS and a 134 OPS+ last season for the Halos and saw those numbers dip to .756 and 104 respectively. He went from virtually star production last season to average in 2023.
Ward's struggles were a big reason this Angels team never quite took off in the first half. He was swinging way more than he ever had, and wasn't having success doing that. Why he maneuvered from the patient approach he had in 2022 when he was so good is beyond me, but that can at least partially explain the 80 point OPS dropoff.
The Angels outfielder transitioned nicely to left field defensively as I thought he looked solid out there, but the bat was super inconsistent all year when he was healthy. Ward went from the guy who was locked in at the top of the order to a player whose future with the Halos appears to be a little uncertain. For now, let's just hope his recovery is going well after being hit in the face in Toronto.