The Los Angeles Angels made a real effort to improve an offense that was one of baseball's worse in 2022. In addition to hoping some of the team's best players like Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon would stay healthy, the Halos made some external additions to try and make their lineup formidable.
Their attempt worked at times but mostly failed. The Angels finished the season 16th in runs scored which is a tick below average. Only two teams that ranked before them, the Brewers and Marlins, made the playoffs. Both failed to win a game. The Angels were fifth in home runs which was great to see, but they struggled mightily to hit with runners in scoring position. That's what doomed them offensively.
Despite the lackluster offense, the Angels still have two Silver Slugger finalists for this season. One of them, to the surprise of nobody, is Shohei Ohtani who will certainly win it. The other is Brandon Drury who is up for the award in two different positions.
Shohei Ohtani, Brandon Drury named LA Angels Silver Slugger finalists
Ohtani's offensive year was historic. He slashed .304/.412/.654 with 44 home runs and 95 RBI. He added 26 doubles, eight triples, and 20 stolen bases. He led the AL in home runs, OBP, slugging, OPS, OPS+, and total bases. He did all of this while missing the final month of the season and, of course, while pitching once a week too. This was arguably the greatest individual season in Angels history and one of the best, if not the best we've ever seen in MLB history.
Ohtani is up against Yordan Alvarez for the DH Silver Slugger award. Yordan is a fantastic hitter and showed up when it mattered most in the postseason, but this is a regular season award. It's Shohei's easily.
Brandon Drury wound up being one of the best signings of the 2022 offseason. He came off a SIlver Slugger season while playing for the Reds and Padres and fit in nicely as the Angels primary second baseman. He wound up slashing .262/.306/.497 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI. He was very clearly the Angels second-best position player behind Shohei.
What's interesting about Drury is he's up for not one, but two Silver Sluggers. He's up for it at his primary position of second base, but can also win the Utility Silver Slugger for the second year in a row. Drury did wind up playing 47 games at first base, but it's hard to understand how he can be up for two different awards. Regardless, he is, and he's got a shot to win at least one.
Drury is up against Marcus Semien and Gleyber Torres for the second base Silver Slugger. Semien is likely going to win it with the season he had, but there's a good chance Drury finishes ahead of Gleyber in second. Torres playing in 33 more games could hurt Drury, but the Angels infielder still finished with more home runs and RBI despite the time he missed due to injury.
The veteran infielder is also up for the Utility Silver Slugger award against Isaac Paredes, Whit Merrifield, and Gunnar Henderson. There's a good chance he's going to edge out Merrifield, but it'll be hard to see Drury beating both Paredes and Henderson for the award especially when he missed the month that he did.
Whether Drury wins it or not, it still turned out to be an excellent signing. The Angels have the pleasure of having him for the 2024 season as well.