Angels starting lineup: 2 encouraging, 1 discouraging takeaway this season

May 24, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) celebrates
May 24, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) celebrates / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Discouraging: LA Angels Players who were good in 2022 have underperformed

The Angels are deeper this season, but would be even deeper if players who were good last season, and that some expected to be good this season, would perform.

Taylor Ward is the biggest culprit of this. He had an all-star caliber season in 2022 and has been nowhere to be found for most of the 2023 season. It's easy to call it a fluke now, but expectations were high for Ward who was fully healthy entering the season and looking to improve on a great year.

Ward has not only lost his everyday role but has lost the patience of just about every Angels fan. I still believe there's something there and that he should go down to AAA to try and re-discover his swing, but that's just me.

Luis Rengifo is another guy who was good last season and has completely disappeared in 2023. Walks are up which is good, and his defense hasn't been quite as atrocious as the eye-test might tell you, but he's been one of the worst hitters on this team all season.

Rengifo's best attribute was power, and he has just two home runs and five total extra-base hits nearly two months into the season. He isn't quite an everyday player, but plays four times a week or so most of the time. For him to be that unproductive is a serious problem.

You can even throw Brandon Drury's name in there. He won a Silver Slugger Award in 2022 after hitting 28 home runs and posting an .813 OPS, and he hasn't been nearly as good. His WRC+ is down from 123 to 99. I didn't expect him to have another Silver Slugger type of season, but I did expect him to be better than average offensively.

This lineup would be so much better if Ward and Rengifo especially, and to a lesser degree Drury, would put up numbers closer to their marks from 2022.