Happy Birthday Mark Trumbo


I was wishing Mark Trumbo a happy birthday on this day last year. You’d think he and I were Facebook friends or something.

Here’s the money quote from last year:

Trumbo couldn’t take a walk if he had one of Mitt Romney’s $10,000 bets on it (he had only 25 last year in 573 plate appearances, killing his OBP), but there is no denying that he has power. 30 home runs and about a .265 AVG in 2012 certainly is plausible.

First, sorry for bringing back the Mitt Romney reference in that quote. It was much more relevant last year. Second, can I get a standing ovation for those projections, or what?!?! He hit 32 homers with a .268 average. C’mon, I nailed it! You’ve been starting at this screen for a while now I bet, stand up and give a man a hand!  [Waits...]   *sigh*   Fine.

It was a crazy 26th year for Trumbo. While many naysayers were certain that his horrible batting eye was sure to be exploited, turning him into Adam Dunn without the walks, he actually came out of the gate with a line that even his biggest fans didn’t expect. Trumbo was sitting at .348/.396/.632 at the end of May.

For the next couple of months he stopped getting on base, like we all suspected was coming, but he hit the ball a country mile, nothing 17 home runs in just June and July. His fast start was enough to earn him an All-Star appearance. Then this:

From that point forward he stopped hitting. Period.

Sure, a couple days later he broke out of his miserable slump to hit a homer, at which point he immediately went back into a horrendous slump. I think you can only appreciate the disparity if you look at his numbers in two-month chunks:

April/March 46 3 .304 .373 .543 .379
May 109 7 .367 .407 .670 .402
June 104 9 .260 .313 .587 .261
July 93 8 .269 .327 .538 .262
August 108 3 .204 .263 .287 .302
Sept/Oct 84 2 .214 .233 .321 .302

In April and May he was a BABIP beast. In June and July he didn’t get on base but he launched balls out of the yard. In August and September he was dreadful by pretty much every hitting statistic ever created.

So what does 2013 have in store for Mark Trumbo’s fantasy baseball value? Well, that’s a hard call to make considering the tale of three seasons we saw with him. But I get paid the big bucks of .04 cents per ad click to make these tough calls.

I think June and July was the real Mark Trumbo. I think his early season was simply a fast start that was aided by some batted ball luck. I think the final two months were the result of an injury to his core that affected him more than was admitted. In June and July we saw a player who doesn’t have a keen eye at the plate, won’t go deep enough into an at bat to draw a walk, but can absolutely murder any fastball he gets a bat on. Those two middle months also absolutely match with what we saw out of Trumbo his first two seasons.

For that reason I think we can expect another 30+ homer season with an average around .260. His lack of on base skills limits is upside in scoring runs, but he’ll have an incredible opportunity to knock in runs considering that Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout will hit in front of him. His uneven 2012 brings more risk in drafting Trumbo, but his power potential ensures plenty of upside.

So happy birthday, Mark Trumbo, who turns 27 today. Happy birthday also to Albert Pujols, who turns the big three-three.

Tags: Angels Home Runs Mark Trumbo OBP