To go alongside power threats Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, Hunter Renfroe has started all but two of the Los Angeles Angels games entering play on May 12. His presence in the batting order has not only added a significant run producing bat, but a wealth of veteran knowledge.
Through 36 games, Renfroe has posted a .257/.316/.521 slash with 10 home runs, 26 RBI and 25 runs scored. He’s currently on pace to have the best season of his eight-year career, and has continued to perform in the heart of the Angels lineup.
Of Renfroe’s 36 hits on the year, nearly half of them have gone for extra-bases, and he currently ranks fourth among Major League right fielders in slugging percentage. The 31-year-old has leaned on his recent history, and now with his fifth team in five seasons, he’s using that to his advantage according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“Obviously, just experience,” Renfroe said. “I think that’s kind of the biggest thing. Knowing how people are going to pitch me. Knowing what happened in the past. Every failure I do I try to learn from and try to make changes and try to better myself.”
He’s striking out at a far lower rate than any point in his career, and Renfroe’s 61st percentile whiff rate is on pace for the best he’s ever posted:
“That’s kind of the biggest thing is trying to swing at good pitches in the zone and try to make sure I put the bat on the ball when I need to put the bat on the ball,” Renfroe said. “The biggest key is hitting the pitches I need to hit. Obviously, there’s times where it’s tough, shadows and tough sunlight, and things that like. You have to mitigate those things and try to put the ball in play. Sometimes good things happen.”
When Renfroe is putting the ball in play, he’s tearing the cover off of the ball. The right-fielder isn’t shy when he does connect, sitting in the 85th percentile of hard-hit rate, but what is truly a highlight is his ability to do damage when the Angels need him to connect.
Jared Walsh has been through ‘hell’
Walsh was a key member of the Angels’ offense in years past, mainly because of his power left-handed bat, however, late in spring camp he revealed he’d been dealing with insomnia and persistent headaches. The team opted to shut him down until further evaluations could provide more answers.
But a full calendar month has passed in the regular season without Walsh, and the process has been incredibly difficult, even losing his ability to properly walk without having depth perception issues.
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