4 Angels starts

Overreacting to These 4 Angels Starts to 2024

As of Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Angels are 6-6 and in second place in the AL West. Now, we’re only 12 games into the season, so many trends and storylines will be radically different in just a few weeks. However, there’s no harm in projecting what might happen to this Angels team if they continue to play as they are right now. 

Overreacting to These 4 Angels Starts to 2024


Mike Trout Will Be the Unanimous AL MVP

Mike Trout has unequivocally been the Angels biggest story this year. Many opposing fans and members of the media speculated that this would be the year Trout finally started to show signs of aging. Luckily for Halo fans, he appears to be back in MVP form early in the season.

He became the fastest Angel to hit six home runs in a season, a feat he accomplished in just six games. He is slashing .318/.400/.795, has an OPS of 1.195, and perhaps most surprisingly, he’s already stolen two bases. What’s more, his underlying metrics support all of his stats. According to Baseball Savant, his barrel rate (92nd percentile), chase rate (97th), and whiff rate (94th) are all elite. His expected slugging and expected weighted on-base average are in the 99th and 97th percentiles respectively. 

The last time Trout finished in the top five of MVP voting was in 2020 and the last time he earned the honor was in 2019. But with the way he’s swinging the bat right now, it’s very easy to see him winning his fourth Most Valuable Player trophy at season’s end, and doing so unanimously.

Logan O’Hoppe Will Lead All Catchers in All-Star Votes

Aside from Trout, Logan O’Hoppe is probably having the best offensive start to the season of any Angel. He’s slashing .353/.436/.529 with one double, one triple, one homer, six RBI, and four walks. Last week against the Red Sox, he demolished a pitch to dead center for his first career grand slam.

O’Hoppe, just like Trout, also has great underlying metrics: his xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG are all in the 90th percentile or above 57.5% hard-hit rate is in the 96th percentile. This seems to indicate that O’Hoppe’s start is real and sustainable and he could have the best offensive season for an Angels catcher in a long time. In fact, if he keeps mashing at this rate, he could end up being the best catcher in the league this year.

Anthony Rendon Won’t Be a Starter in Two Months

Not only do Anthony Rendon’s bat skills appear to be diminished, but he has completely alienated himself from the fanbase. Last week he was booed at Angel Stadium, a place not typically known for booing its own players. In the preseason, he made comments about baseball not being his priority, and based on his early season results, he might have been telling the truth.

In 10 games, the former National has a .150 batting average and a .200 slugging percentage. He has just six hits in 40 at-bats and he has struck out seven times. For whatever reason, Anthony Rendon is just not the player he was in Washington. I would love for him to prove me wrong, but at this point, Rendon isn’t making a strong case to remain in the lineup or even on the team.

Manager Ron Washington seems to believe in him and has been batting him in the leadoff position, but even for the Angels, who don’t have a strong minor league system, there has got to be a better option. I don’t think Rendon will be starting for much longer, which could open the door for a veteran like Miguel Sanó to earn more playing time. Luis Rengifo can also play third, which would allow prospect Kyren Paris to come up and play second base. Regardless of who else plays third base, the one thing keeping Rendon afloat right now is his massive contract.

Reid Detmers Will Finish With a Sub-3.00 ERA and 180 Strikeouts

expected big things from Reid Detmers this year, and so far, he has not disappointed. In two starts and 11 innings, he is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA, allowing five hits, four walks, and collecting 19 punch-outs. He looked especially good against Boston when he struck out 12 Red Sox batters in six innings. Many have expected the Angels 2020 first-round pick to have a breakout year in 2024 and he. Is proving everyone right so far.

He is posting elite whiff and strikeout percentages (41.8 and 45.2 respectively) and opponents are hitting just .135 against him. He’s been throwing his fastball and changeup more and his slider and curveball less, and it’s certainly working for him. He’s always been able to rack up strikeouts, but assuming he stays healthy, I think he can rack up more than 180 this year and put himself in the CY Young conversation at the end of the year.

Main Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

0 0 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
0 0 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x