LA Angels: 2013 Projections for Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
LA Angels: 2013 Projections for Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton
The Angels' World Series aspirations rest squarely on the bats of Hamilton, Trout and Pujols.

With the disappointment of the 2012 season in the rear-view mirror, the Los Angeles Angels will look to turn the page. Leading the charge in 2013 will be their dynamic offense, which is headlined by Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

The three stars together account for 15 All-Star game selections, 10 Silver Slugger awards, four MVP awards, two Rookie of the Year honors and two batting titles.

Added to their responsibilities: the hopes and dreams of bringing another World Series crown to Southern California.

In the offseason, the Angels shelled out a five-year, $125 million deal for Josh Hamilton to try to make that dream become a reality.

With Trout batting leadoff and Pujols-Hamilton batting Nos. 3-4 this season, the Angels will have one of the most menacing trios in baseball history at the top half of their lineup.

Considering that Trout, Pujols and Hamilton account for a $34 million chunk of the 2013 payroll, the pressure to perform will certainly accompany each and every at-bat.

Below is a look at their stats from last year and my projected stats for them 2013.

Mike Trout

 

2012 Stats

G     AB     R       H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG

139  559  129   182      27      8       30      83       67    139      49      .326   

2013 Projected Stats

G     AB     R     H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG                

161  651   145   210   29      7      33      96       73      164     58     .322

 

Analysis

Mike Trout's 2012 rookie campaign was historic. He led MLB in runs scored (129) and stolen bases (49). He also surprisingly led all of baseball in Baseball-Reference's Wins Above Replacement statistic at 10.7 (the WAR statistic is a single number that presents the number of wins a player added to a team above what a replacement player would add).

Since the end of the 19th century, only pitcher Dwight Gooden had a higher WAR statistic as a 20-year-old in 1985.

Clearly, Mike Trout's production at the leadoff position was tremendous in 2012. The Angels will look for him to have similar success in an expanded role this year. If he can avoid injury, look for Trout to play more than last year.

 

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
With a dynamic combination of power/speed, Mike Trout will look to enter the 30/50 club in 2013.

With more games played will come more at-bats and more production for the talented 21-year-old. Trout will likely join the 30-50 club and be a mainstay in the 2013 MVP race.

With his speed and ability to put the ball in play, Trout's batting average figures to remain above .320. And his runs total will come close to 150 with RBI machines Pujols and Hamilton batting behind him in the lineup.

Trout's strikeout total, likely to rise above 150 this year, is the only cause for concern in his 2013 projections. However, as long as his slugging (.564 last year) and on-base percentages (.399) remain strong, strikeouts will certainly be forgiven.

 

Albert Pujols

2012 Stats

G      AB     R     H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG                

154   607    85   173    50      0      30      105     52       76      8       .285 

 

2013 Projected Stats

G      AB     R     H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG

158   624    96   187    51      0      35      124     57      79       6       .299               

 

Analysis

Albert Pujols is coming off perhaps his worst batting season since entering the big leagues in 2001, largely in part to a dismal April start in which he hit only .217 with no home runs.

When looking back on his numbers from 2012, it is amazing to think that Pujols still managed to hit 30 home runs and 100-plus RBI despite his early-season struggles. The three-time National League MVP admitted to pressing early on in the season in an attempt to try to live up to past production.

About last year's slow start, Pujols said (via the OC Register), "I spread the strike zone a little bit, tried to hit a two-run homer with nobody on base. It happens." 

In the offseason, Pujols had a clean-up procedure on his right knee. As of the start of spring training, he is still rehabbing from the surgery and is admittedly "easing into" baseball activity (per the Boston Herald, via the Associated Press). He plans to be ready for the start of the 2013 season.

Assuming the 33-year-old slugger enters the season healthy, look for him to regain his elite hitting status in 2013 as his familiarity with American League pitching increases. He will lead the club with around 35 home runs and 124 RBI. With Mike Trout and Erick Aybar batting ahead of him, Pujols should see many opportunities to clear the bases.

 

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
With one season under his belt in Anaheim, look for Pujols to get back on track in 2013.

Pujols' production in the three hole will likely determine how the Angels do as an offensive unit. If he falters like he did early last year, another 6-14 start for the team would not be out of the question. However, if he performs at or near the level of his current career averages (.325 batting average, 39.6 home runs and 119.5 RBI), the AL West could be won by the summer.

 

Josh Hamilton

2012 Stats

G      AB     R     H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG                

148   562    103   160   31     2      43      127     60       162     7      .285 

2013 Projected Stats

G      AB     R     H     2B     3B     HR     RBI     BB     SO     SB     AVG                

136   522    91   145   26       0      31       98      53     133      7      .277 

 

Analysis

 Josh Hamilton's debut season with the Angels will be rockier than most expect. According to ESPN's split stats, Hamilton ended last year's campaign in a major slump. In September, he batted .259 and drove in only 15 runs. His numbers slipped even further in October, posting a measly .154 batting average.

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Angel Stadium will negatively impact Hamilton's numbers in 2013.

In his six-year career, Hamilton has never played more than 156 games. Injuries and off-the-field incidents have minimized his playing time. From 2007-2012, Hamilton has averaged only 122 games played per season. It is not likely that he will exceed that number by much in 2013. 

It would not be surprising for the left-hander to take a month or two to get acclimated to a new ballpark and new teammates. 

Last year, Hamilton had the luxury of playing in the fourth-most hitter-friendly stadium in the majors, according to MLB Park Factors. The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has a reputation as a launching pad for home runs, especially in the warm summer air.

On the other side of the coin, Angel Stadium was ranked as the 27th-worst hitter's park out of 30 in 2012. Home runs and extra-base hits come at a premium in this ballpark. Therefore, with reduced games played and a pitcher-friendly ballpark to get used to, it seems rather logical to believe that Hamilton's numbers will come down across the board in 2013.       

Load More Stories

Follow Los Angeles Angels from B/R on Facebook

Follow Los Angeles Angels from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Out of Bounds

Los Angeles Angels

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.