Baseball is still in its early stages; things are taking shape, patterns are appearing, and teams are figuring out who they are. The Los Angeles Angels are contenders in the American League West. We have a plethora of stats that help explain what we see. Even better, some stats exist that make no sense considering the player.
*Stats as of May, 10th before game vs Astros
3 Angels Stats That Make Zero Sense
Anthony Rendon’s .364 Slugging Percentage
As baseball continues to move towards a more analytical way of play, more and more, the community moves away from traditional numbers like batting average and look to numbers like slugging percentage. If it were 2005, everyone would look at Anthony Rendon’s .295 batting average and think he’s having a good year and the power will come around. Rendon is slugging .364.
Going deep into his hits, in 88 at-bats, only 4 have yielded extra-base hits. One homerun and three doubles. Rendon has had 22 singles, leading to an OPS+ of 121, above average. The lack of power is more or less explained by his wrist injury last year. This injury limited him to 47 games in 2022. It’s reasonable to think more power will return as the season progresses. Lucky for him, the Angels added more hitters to help lessen the load.
Some of Rendon’s other stats make more sense with an OBP of .430, which is excellent. Rendon can still be a great hitter. Finally, being healthy will allow Angels fans to see him at that MVP level he was in Washington D.C. Another stat that is trending in the right direction is that his walks are up, and his strikeouts are down. Even Though he has zero power now, other numbers say he is playing better than the stat sheet says he is.
Hunter Renfroe’s Home/Road Splits
Most players play better in their home ballpark. They are more comfortable with the batter’s eyes and how the ballpark plays offensively. Historically, Angel Stadium has played as more of a pitcher’s park. Now in the case of Hunter Renfroe, he makes the park look like Coors Field.
Renfroe’s home stat line is as follows. In 56 at-bats, Renfroe has a slash line of .357/.406/.875/1.281 (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage/on-base plus slugging). That’s not bad for a home slash line at all. Compare that to his road slash line, which is as follows in 78 at bats .179/.229/.244/.473. It is a staggering difference between the two is insane. Generally, there is a dip between home and road since you play 81 games in the same place vs 81 games in 29 other locations.
The number difference is fascinating. Usually, these kinds of discrepancies again are reserved for ballparks like Coors Field. In a place that is known for enormous offensive numbers, those players will have more of a split that favors home-field advantage. It could be just a thing of comfort for Renfroe, and it stays the same day after day. The road ballparks are different some have different dimensions and weather. Plus, teams are 3 for 4 days, so finding a groove that fast can be challenging.
Mike Trout Can’t Hit With Runners in Scoring Position
Fans usually expect the star players to rise to the occasion when the lights are the brightest and when the pressure is the most palpable. Mike Trout does that with two outs and runners on base. Without that extra pressure, he is another player. It makes no sense that a star like Trout has this odd blip on his stat sheet.
Looking at his numbers in total, they are fantastic, as always. He is slashing .290/.377/.542/.919 so far in the season. Now looking at his numbers in different situations, it makes no sense in one area, runners in scoring position and less than two outs. His slash line is .214/.303/.429/.732, every number in that line is average or below average. Now if there are two out in the same situation, his line is .313/.389/.500/.889. All of those numbers are well above average in that situation. In the Angels’ lineup, Trout bats second, where he could have a runner in scoring position with less than two outs.
Trout is a future Hall of Fame player without question. Many of the game greats have odd things in their stat sheet. If anything, it says how Mike Trout does when the game is at his most challenging, the lights are the brightest. Without that pressure on, he is a different player altogether. Numbers in sports tell a story of how the player did or is doing. Even though some fans think there are too many numbers, coaches need to use their gut more than math. However, the stats and analytics lead to fascinating conversations and wondering.
Main Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports