The brightest spot for the Los Angeles Angels this year was the follow-up performance from Shohei Ohtani in his bid for another Most Valuable Player Award. But the resurgence of Mike Trout following a season-ending injury in 2021 also made headlines.
Because of this, both were named finalists for the 2022 Hank Aaron Award, which is given out to the most outstanding regular season offensive performer in their respective leagues.
Established in 1999, the Hank Aaron Award is an incredible achievement and to be named a finalist is an honor in itself due to their tier-list of names up for the award. Along with Jose Altuve & Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, and Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners, Trout & Ohtani put up gaudy numbers themselves.
Although he didn’t have quite the offensive season for the Angels as last year, Ohtani posted a .875 on-base plus slugging, including 70 extra-base hits and 34 home runs. While surrounded by an underperforming lineup for most of the season, his clutch-hitting and slugging reminded the league how special of a talent he is.
Trout, on the other hand, bounced back from a scare involving his back and decided to hit everything for a home run. He managed to knock 124 hits this season, 40 of them via the home run ball.
Trout became just the fourth player in MLB history to reach the 40-homer mark without playing at least 120 games. He has previously won the award in 2014 & again in 2019.
Angels starter Reid Detmers named to MLB Pipeline All-Rookie Team
Although Reid Detmers made his MLB debut at the tail end of the 2021 season, his 2022 campaign was considered his rookie year. The Angels’ first-round pick in 2020 went into the season with a specific goal of limiting home runs and increasing bad contact, while hopefully maintaining the high strike-out numbers he saw in the Minors.
What ensued was — by just about any metric — a successful rookie campaign. Detmers tossed 129.0 innings, the third-highest on the Angels, over 25 starts. He improved in almost every way from the 20.2 innings he pitched in 2021, becoming a core piece of the Angels rotation in the process.