Mark Trumbo was a big time power hitter in the minors, hitting 110 home runs in his five minor league season, capped off with his 2010 season in AAA where he hit 36 HRs and drove in 122. That power outburst forced him into the Angels plans in 2011, and he responded by hitting .254-.291-.477 with 29 HRs, 65 runs, 87 RBI and 9 stolen bases.
Coming into the 2012 season, he didn't have a position, as the Angels had signed some guy named Albert Pujols to play first base for them for the next 10 years. Kendrys Morales, who was out of action for almost two years, was finally healthy and can't play any position other than first base, so he became the Angels full time DH. So, where would Trumbo play? They tried him at third base, but that proved to be a disaster as he made 4 errors in 5 game, so they moved him to right field, this after Torii Hunter had to take care of some personal matters, Bobby Abreu was waived, and Vernon Wells hit the DL.
All he has done since moving to the outfield is hit. As I mentioned in a recent Roto Roundup, just looking at his stats compared to Albert Pujols' stats this season, one would easily confuse him with Pujols from previous seasons.
More on Trumbo after the jump:
Thus far in 2012, Trumbo is hitting .348-.396-.632 with 10 HRs, 22 runs, 26 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 155 at bats. His .396 BABIP indicates he is due for some regression, and it will come, but his power is what makes him valuable for fantasy owners and the Angels.
For a power hitter, he doesn't strike out a ton. I mean, he isn't Adam Dunn or Mark Reynolds. He is striking out just under 21% of his at bats, in line with his 2011 strikeout rate. He has increased his walk rate to 7.1% from a very low 4.4% last season.
His batted ball data, courtesy of FanGraphs, shows he is hitting more line drives this season, but otherwise it is fairly similar to his 2011 data:
Line drives: 15.9% vs 19.0%
Ground ball: 45.7% vs 43.8%
Fly balls: 38.4% vs 37.2%
His plate discipline stats indicate he is being more selective at the plate this season, as he is swinging at less pitches outside the zone - 37.7% vs 42.7% in 2011, and at less pitches in the zone - 62.1% vs 68.8% in 2011. But on the negative side, Trumbo isn't making as much contact as he did in 2011 - 76.9% vs 73.3% this season.
Trumbo is on pace to hit 31 HRs, drive in 81 runs and steal 12 bases this season, so he is more valuable to fantasy owners this year than in the past. I ranked him as my 31st overall first baseman coming into the season, so I was not high on him. Right now, he is easily a top 10 first baseman, and probably a top 20 outfielder.
Regression is coming, sure. But, in a year where Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are garnering more of the headlines, Trumbo is quietly have a bit of a breakout season. Can he keep this up?