The Angels are only six games into the 2016 season, but it’s clear their offense hasn’t received that memo yet. The team ranks in the bottom three in six major offensive categories [batting average, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, runs and on-base percentage] so far this season. With a 2-4 record, the Angels can highlight their offense as the main problem to begin the new season.
Starting with home runs, the Angels’ Yunel Escobar has the lone home run for the Angels in 2016. They rank dead last in the MLB in home runs. That’s an unusual stat for the club, because of the power this team possesses. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols both hit 40-plus home runs last season. They also have strong hitters in Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron, but none of these four have homered yet.
Hitting homers isn’t always the answer to offensive production. Take the 2015 Kansas City Royals, for example. The Royals hit the seventh least home runs last season, but still won the World Series. How so? By hitting for average. The Royals didn’t beat teams by out slugging them, but instead small ball and the third best batting average in baseball.
Unfortunately, the Angels batting average like their home run stat isn’t impressive either. They are batting .200 on the season which ranks third worst in baseball as of now. If you aren’t hitting for average and aren’t hitting the ball out of the park, then clearly you won’t be scoring many runs. Which explains the Angels low RBI and run total through their first six games. The team ranks second-to-last in both of those categories.
The Angels have shied away from the scrappy ball club they use to be back in the early 2000s and Mike Scioscia’s first few years with the team. They use to play small ball well and that would be the way this team would win games. Speedy runners and stolen bases was the way the Angels use to succeed in the AL. That’s the exact opposite with today’s team. They are one of three teams [Mariners and Tigers] that haven’t stolen a base yet. Perhaps the main problem with that is they don’t get on base frequently. The Angels have the second worst on-base percentage in baseball with .273 OBP.
Although, pitching is a main factor in baseball and it does win championships. You can’t win if you can’t hit. Period. The Angels need to get the bats going if they don’t want to get in a deep hole early in a strong AL West division. Luckily, it’s still early and the Angels have time to get out of this early season offensive rut.
The Angels begin a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics tonight at 7:05 p.m. at O.co Coliseum. The A’s ace Sonny Gray, one of the best pitchers in baseball, takes the mound.