The Los Angeles Angels have had an uneven start to the 2023 season. They sit at 13-12, but have played a fairly light schedule and have thrown away more games than I want to count that they should have won. Regardless, this is where they're at right now, and 1.5 games back in the division a month into the season isn't too bad.
The Angels are currently fourth in all of baseball with 131 runs scored. A lot of these runs have come recently, and it's no coincidence why.
One of the biggest moves the Angels made this offseason was adding Brandon Drury on a two-year deal. Drury got off to a horrific start offensively but has been on fire of late. With Drury swinging a hot bat, the Angels' lineup becomes that much scarier.
Brandon Drury swinging the bat well makes the LA Angels dangerous offensively
The core of this Angels team is easy to identify. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are two of, if not the best players in all of baseball. However, as we've seen for many years now, the Angels needs to have other players on the team to surround these two superstars.
Last season both Trout and Ohtani put up gaudy numbers yet the team finished 25th in runs scored. This season, Trout hasn't hit for the same power numbers we're used to, and Ohtani hasn't really gotten it going offensively either. Yet, the Angels are scoring at a much higher clip than they did last year. The reason why is the supporting cast.
Hunter Renfroe has been awesome all season long, and looks like a stable force in the middle of this lineup. However, the bats after Renfroe have been pretty inconsistent. Gio Urshela has hit a ton of singles, which is great but hasn't really hit for any power. Logan O'Hoppe was playing great before his injury. The Angels needed someone to step up, and Drury has finally begun to do that.
Last season, Drury won his first career Silver Slugger award after hitting 28 home runs and driving in 87 runs splitting time with the Reds and Padres. While I did not expect Drury to repeat the season he had, I did expect him to provide some power at the bottom of the lineup. After a miserable start, he's beginning to do that.
In his first 20 games of the season, he was slashing .179/.208/.269 with only one home run and five RBI. In the first three games of this series against the Athletics, Drury has seven hits in 13 at-bats. He's hit three home runs, a double, a triple, and has driven in nine runs. I get that it's Oakland, but you have to be encouraged by this at least a little bit.
Drury figuring it out offensively lengthens the lineup even more. It gives them another big bat for opposing pitchers to fear and as you've seen in this series, makes this lineup dangerous. Again, it's only Oakland, but Drury was hitless in eight at-bats against them earlier this season. This is encouraging.