With the announcement that Shohei Ohtani will bat leadoff for the LA Angels, it sparks speculation that Mike Trout could bat right behind him in the two-hole. Having the two best players in the game batting back-to-back will obviously be a dream scenario for the Halos.
The thing is, it could even be more than just a dream scenario. It could even result in more than just the best one-two punch in baseball. The two of these guys are finally fully healthy at the same time, and now have a chance to do something historic. Check out these OPS numbers below:
The fact that we're even looking at this and having this discussion is insane. These two truly have this level of talent and potential to reach this pinnacle. I bet it happens, too.
Ohtani is coming off of the best season in sports history and it was just the first season where he really knew how to manage his body and work load. Trout is coming off of an injury year, but before he got hurt he was having the best season of his entire career.
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are going to rake at the top of the LA Angels' lineup.
Shohei Ohtani's OPS as a leadoff hitter in 2021 is .931, and Mike Trout's OPS as a two-hole hitter is 1.014. It certainly looks like the two are going to make history with the LA Angels next year. Most importantly, though, they're going to set the table for Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh.
Ohtani's on-base percentage in the leadoff spot last year was .388, and Trout's career on-base percentage batting second is .418. Getting on base for Rendon and setting him up for success like that is going to expedite his comeback season process.
Perhaps the two will have already cleared the bases by the time he gets there, however, which would be even better for the Angels. After all, Ohtani still slugged a great .543 in the leadoff spot last season with an exceptional six home runs in 23 games. Trout slugs .597 from the two-hole, which is the highest he's slugged anywhere in the lineup. He's hit 175 home runs out of his 310 career homers from the two-spot in the lineup.
Ohtani got on more at the leadoff spot last year than the second hole in the lineup and stole more bases per game batting leadoff, so perhaps Maddon elected him to hit leadoff to get on, get over, and then have Trout knock him in right away with that two-hole power Trouty has put on display his whole career when batting there.
Luckily for Maddon, he has many options for many spots in this order. Two MVPs, a third potential MVP candidate in Rendon, an All-Star in Walsh, two young kids in the outfield with elite offensive potential, a bounce-back candidate on a contract year in Justin Upton, and a quality hitting catcher in Max Stassi gives the Halos a chance at a truly elite lineup for the 2022 season.