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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mark Trumbo Can be Capable Replacement for Kendrys Morales

The Angels haven’t had the best run leading up to the season. They lost out on Carl Crawford in free agency — a player many people thought they were a lock to land — and they also missed out on Rafael Soriano and Adrian Beltre who were other reported targets. Then they acquired Vernon Wells and the $88 million he had left on his current contract. Spring training has featured ups-and-downs — Scott Kazmir has been rocked while Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter have only been so-so. The good news is Peter Bourjos, Howie Kendrick, and Bobby Abreu have all hit well and Ervin Santana has pitched well. But the biggest revelation of all this spring has been Mark Trumbo.

Trumbo is a 25-year-old rookie from Villa Park in Orange, CA who has been tearing things up. Through 23 spring games, Trumbo leads the Angels with six home runs and 20 RBIs, not to mention 17 runs scored. He’s slugged .706 and will likely open up the year as the team’s first baseman replacing Kendrys Morales who still is not recovered from his leg injury sustained in a freak celebration last season. The good news is the Angels will have a hot-hitting replacement at first who should be able to fill the hole for the first month or so.

Trumbo may not be a long-term solution at first as his 2:18 walk-to-strikeout ratio in spring training is a concern. However, Trumbo has displayed power at every level throughout his career, amassing 120 home runs in 2,793 minor league at-bats. He seems to be getting better with age after posting 36 home runs and a .945 OPS last season at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Expecting Trumbo to replace Kendrys Morales’ production is lofty, but the Angels may not be in much trouble with him in the middle of the lineup for the short run.



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