The Los Angeles Angels have failed to make the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. Despite being a mediocre ball club, the Halos season was far from uneventful. There have been many ups and downs through out the entirety of the season. While the success of the Angels are nothing to write home about, they definitely had some moments that kept them relevant in the baseball world.
Death of Tyler Skaggs
The biggest and most heartbreaking news of the Angels’ season was the unexpected death of starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs passed away on July 1st 2019 in his hotel room when in Texas for a series with the Texas Rangers. This news left the MLB world in shock. Skaggs was universally loved by his teammates and family and his sudden death was very surreal for them. The Angels held a press conference shortly after Skaggs’ death and you can see how heartbroken the whole clubhouse is. Skaggs was only 27 at the time of his death and leaves behind his wife. Out of respect for Skaggs, the Angels wore a patch with the number 45 on it for the rest of the 2019 season
On July 12th, the Angels played a game against the Mariners in Anaheim. At this game, they had an opening ceremony to celebrate the life of Tyler Skaggs. Everyone on the Angels wore Skaggs jersey out of respect to him. To make the game even more emotional, the Angels won 13-0 and threw a combined no hitter. It was a very emotional and magical night. At the conclusion of the game, all the Angels players took off their jerseys and scattered them around the mound. This tribute to Skaggs will surely go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.
Mike Trout MVP
It is widely known that for the past couple years Mike Trout has undoubtedly been the best player in baseball. Not only is he the best player in baseball, he is getting paid like it as well. Trout signed a 12-year $430 million this offseason which is the largest contract in all of sports. Some people worried that his production would go down after he received his contract. This has been the case for many stars through the years. Most recently, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have not been performing up to their contracts so far. However, with Mike Trout that is not the case.
Not only is Mike Trout worth his contract, he may be having the best year of his career. He has set a new career high in home runs with 45 and also finished the season with 104 RBIS. He also has an OPS of 1.083 which leads the American League. His bWAR is 8.3 which currently leads all the AL as well. Trout’s season has come to an early end due to a foot injury but all signs are still pointing to him as AL MVP. Astro’s 3rd baseman Alex Bregman is closing the gap a bit but Mike Trout is still the clear frontrunner for the hardware.
Other Bright Spots
Tommy La Stella was a bright spot for the Angels in the early part of the season. In his first season in Anaheim La Stella was hitting .300 with 16 home runs and an OPS of .848. Unfortunately, La Stella has been sidelined for the majority of the second half of the season. In the beginning of July, La Stella fractured his tibia by fouling a ball off his leg that caused him to miss significant time. La Stella returned to the Angels line up on Friday night to finish out the season.
Shohei Ohtani had another good year at the plate. After going through Tommy John surgery at the end of 2018, he was used this year as a hitter. He had a very productive year at the plate. Ohtani is hitting .286 with 16 home runs as well as an .848 OPS. Unfortunately, Ohtani had to undergo season ending knee surgery on September 12th. By the start of 2020, it will be exciting to see how Ohtani returns as a pitcher. At only 24, Ohtani is going to be a very productive player for the Angels for a long time, especially if he can capture success as a two way player.
2019 has been an emotional year for the Angels. The death of Skaggs was a very emotional for many people around the nation. Mike Trout continues to be one of the most recognizable and best players in the league. However when looking at the big picture, the Angels were disappointing. No teams aim for 4th place in their division. It will be exciting to see how the Angels build around Trout in the upcoming future. Looking at the short term, it’s hard to see the Halos compete with powerhouses like the Astros or Yankees anytime soon. Nevertheless, the Angels will need to start becoming more competitive and build around the window they have opened with Trout and Ohtani as a great core.
Author Twitter: @JackMurph27
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Check out our partners at Shoreline Sportsbook for all of your sport betting needs! Use promo code OTHGambling when you sign up and get your deposit matched 100% up to $500!