2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: Los Angeles Angels

by Jordan McDonald
2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep dive: Los Angeles Angels

Welcome to another edition of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive featuring the Los Angeles Angels!

Last week, I discussed the magnificent season that Shohei Ohtani was having at the plate. But what about the rest of the Angels offense? Some of their other marquee batters have struggled with injuries and overall inefficiency.

However, as we approach the trade deadline for some fantasy leagues, do any of them deserve consideration as potential targets? Let's take a look.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Statcast Deep Dive: Los Angeles Angels

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Mike Trout

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I know that Trout has been ultimately non-existent for most of this season. But right now, he is sitting on someone's injury list just waiting for the day to be activated. As of July 20th, Trout was running at 90 percent speed, but his return date is still unknown. And that bears the question: should you try and acquire Trout for a playoff push?

He was putting up his typical outstanding numbers until a calf injury shelved him for the past few months. Currently, he owns a slash line of .333/.466/.624 and eight home runs in 117 at-bats. You may have forgotten that he was mired in a slump before going down. For reference, he was hitting .429/.527/.805 at the beginning of May, but "fell back to earth" at his current slash line by going 8-for-44 when he went down on May 17th. Every player is prone to slump during the baseball season and that includes the almighty Trout. And he may have started to heat up again if he avoided the injury bug.

His Statcast numbers are around where they were during previous seasons. However, he hasn't seen enough pitches to register as a qualified hitter, so he isn't registered as a qualified hitter. But his Max Exit Velocity is ranked among the league at 115.5 MPH, which sits in the 96th percentile. Another thing to note is that he has recorded his highest strikeout rate in the Statcast era at 28.1 percent. But that may begin to drop once he officially returns.

If you can entice the person in your league who currently rosters Trout with a trade package, it may be a golden ticket for your playoffs. You just have to hope they are disgruntled enough to give him up after all this time on the mend.

Anthony Rendon

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Another highly drafted Angels player who is currently spending time on the injured list. But unlike Trout, Rendon has struggled mightily during his 2021 campaign. Currently, he is slashing .240/.329/.382 with only six home runs in 217 at-bats.

Rendon has been a steady hitter over his career, and that was expected after finishing with a consensus ADP of 28th overall according to FantasyPros. Unfortunately, he has seemingly fallen off a cliff this season. He has recorded career lows across the board on his Statcast page that includes average Exit Velocity (89.1 MPH), xBA (.233), and xSLG (.369). He has the lowest Barrel rate (5.6 percent) of his career since 2015 when he missed half the season. And his Hard Hit rate is under 40 percent for the first time since 2017.

He has also recorded the lowest Sweet Spot percentage of his career at 31.5 percent. And his season Launch Angle is currently 22.3 degrees, which is five degrees higher than his career average. Both of these metrics suggest that he is producing the same contact that he is accustomed to. If you compare his Statcast numbers with the rest of the league, he is ranked under 50 percent in every category.

Rendon could be a viable buy-low target heading into trade deadlines across leagues. And whoever rosters him will be more willing to cut bait over someone like Trout. The underlying numbers are not in his favor, but you could reap the rewards cheaply if he manages to rebound when he returns.

Jared Walsh

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We move to a player who hasn't dealt with injuries this season and has played tremendously this season. His impact at the plate was the reason why the Angels moved on from Albert Pujols and managed to secure an All-Star nomination as well. Walsh is currently slashing .271/.326/.530 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs.

He has worked his way up from being a 39th round pick in 2015 to being the slugger he has become today. His Barrel rate of 13.9 percent is ranked in the 87th percentile and his Max Exit Velocity of 114.8 MPH is in the 94th percentile. However, the rest of his Statcast numbers compared with the rest of the league are not as high, but they are almost all above the 50 percent mark.

His expected statistics are lower than his actual numbers. The xBA is .259 and his xSLG is .451, but they are ranked in the 61st and 70th percentile respectively. But if there is one area of concern, it would have to be his walk rate of 6.9 percent (26th percentile) and his strikeout rate of 27.6 percent (16th percentile).

Overall, he is a solid player who has dual eligibility in fantasy formats. And he was most likely available after your draft as the consensus 216th player according to FantasyPros ADP. I can assure you that he will not be passed over heading into next season.

David Fletcher

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Honestly, Fletcher may have the wildest Statcast page in the entire league. He is a pure contact hitter who possesses almost no power and barely any plate discipline. For the season, he has slashed .315/.341/.396 with only two home runs in 356 at-bats.

His 10.6 percent strikeout rate ranks in the top two percent of the league. And he possesses the best Whiff Rate in the entire league at 9.9 percent. But strangely enough, his walk rate ranks in the third percentile of the league at just four percent. His xBA (.273) is lower than it's usually been in previous seasons, but he still ranks in the 81st percentile. Yet his xSLG (.322) ranks in the seventh percentile.

Last season, he ranked in the bottom one percent in both Hard Hit rate (17.8 percent) and Barrel rate (0.5 percent). This season, he has not registered enough hits hard enough to register for both categories. But he has recorded a Hard Hit rate of 17.6 percent and a Barrel rate of a whopping zero percent.

If you need batting average and runs scored, then Fletcher is your guy, because he doesn't offer much more than that. However, he does also have multi-positional eligibility that can be helpful in deeper leagues. If Trout and Rendon can return and play up to their abilities, Fletcher will have tremendous value hitting at the top of that loaded Angels lineup.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

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