The Angels have had just six different seasons of 40-plus home runs in franchise history, and until 2015, there had been just one man to accomplish that feat. Troy Glaus was the only slugger to do that among Angels home run leaders, as he did it in consecutive years (which we’ll talk about more in a minute).
But since 2015, there have been four other occurrences of this, accomplished by three different players. Let’s dig into some of the details.
Angels Home Run Leaders: Top 5
Troy Glaus: 47 Home Runs in 2000
Glaus is not only the Angels’ single-season home run leader, folks. He’s also on the Diamondbacks‘ single-season leaderboard. But for the purposes of today, we’re just going to focus on the bombs he’s launched while playing in the AL West.
Those 47 taters came in his first full season in the big leagues, so he wasted no time making an impact. The former third overall draft pick was mostly a picture of consistency in the power department for the Angels. He never hit double-digit dingers in a month, but he never hit fewer than seven. And although June and July were on the tougher side for him (both months had an OPS in the .800 range), he sandwiched that around performances that included an OPS greater than 1.000.
While most of his counting stats were racked up against right-handers (he faced them 512 times in 2000), Glaus still managed to slug 17 homers in just 166 plate appearances against lefties (he posted a 1.354 OPS in that scenario).
Shohei Ohtani: 46 Home Runs in 2021
In the midst of marveling at Shohei Ohtani‘s 2021 AL MVP campaign, it was easy to overlook the fact that he nearly set a new single-season franchise record for homers. But seriously, he came *that* close to making it happen, which would’ve just added to the ridiculousness of his performance.
Those 46 dingers came in 639 plate appearances, and I like to point out that over his first three big-league seasons (967 plate appearances), Ohtani slugged 47 homers. So, he nearly doubled his career total in the span of one season. Not bad.
While he did step to the plate 47 fewer times in the second half, it would’ve been hard to sustain the pace he was on prior to the All-Star break. In advance of the midsummer classic, he slashed .279/.364/.698 with 33 home runs and 70 RBI. Following that breather, he slashed .229/.382/.458 with 13 home runs and 30 RBI. But still, it didn’t matter because the damage was done. Between what he did on the mound and at the plate, he was the easy choice for AL MVP.
To get a full look at what he’s done thus far during his career, take a stroll through memory lane to look at Shohei Ohtani’s home runs through the years.
Mike Trout: 45 Home Runs in 2019
Would any Angels list be complete with Mike Trout being included? No, and that’s definitely the case here since he’s already the franchise’s all-time home run leader. The 2019 campaign was the seventh time in eight seasons that Trout finished in the top-two of MVP voting (he finished fourth the one time he didn’t), with this one ending with earning the honor for the third time.
As Trout typically does, he excelled in just about every situation imaginable during 2019. Whether he was home or away, or playing in the first half or second half, his OPS was over 1.000. While he only appeared in six September games, he also secured 1.000-plus OPS in each month. July sticks out in this case because he slashed .286/.392/.821 with 13 home runs and 29 RBI for the month.
It’s not surprising that Los Angeles typically wins when Trout plays well (he slashed .343/.480/.805 in victories), but it’s not like he was completely silent in losses. When the Angels came up short, he still managed a .250/.405/.515 line with 33 extra-base hits (15 doubles, 18 home runs).
Mike Trout: 41 Home Runs in 2015
The 2015 season was special for Trout because it was the first time he surpassed the 40-homer plateau, which he accomplished as a 23-year-old. July was once again his best month of the year, as the outfielder hit .367/.462/.861 with 12 homers and 24 RBI. He didn’t hit more than eight homers in any other month.
If runners were in scoring position when he stepped to the plate, chances were the Millville Meteor would come through in the clutch. In this specific situation, Trout slashed .352/.508/.693 with eight homers and 49 RBI. It also didn’t matter what time of the game he stepped to the plate. Whether it was within the first three innings (1.057 OPS), innings 4-6 (.945), or the last third of the game (.980), Trout was always ready to do damage.
Troy Glaus: 41 Home Runs in 2001
What’s the best way to follow up a breakout campaign like Glaus’ in 2000? Well, the obvious answer here is to slug another 40-plus dingers for the Angels. Although his season-long OPS dropped more than 100 points (1.008 to .898), the sweet-swinging third baseman took home his second straight Silver Slugger award after posting 40 homers and 100 RBI again.
He didn’t have one particular month where he launched double-digit home runs but landed between six and eight per month for the duration of the season. I also love looking at how close his first- and second-half numbers were. Prior to the All-Star Game, he posted a .877 OPS with 22 homers and 54 RBI. After the midsummer classic, his OPS went up to .922 and was paired with 19 homers and 54 RBI. Baseball, man. Gotta love it.
Angels Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here’s what the rest of the Angels’ top-21 single-season home run leaders looks like:
- Albert Pujols, 2015: 40 home runs
- Mike Trout, 2018: 39
- Vladimir Guerrero, 2004: 39
- Reggie Jackson, 1982: 39
- Bobby Bonds, 1977: 37
- Leon Wagner, 1962: 37
- Mike Trout, 2014: 36
- Don Baylor, 1979: 36
- Mo Vaughn, 2000: 36
- Garret Anderson, 2000: 35
- Tim Salmon, 1995 and 2000: 34
- Wally Joyner, 1987: 34
- Kendrys Morales, 2009: 34
- Don Baylor, 1978: 34
- Mark Trumbo, 2013: 34
To find the seasons that currently fall outside of this list, check out FanGraphs.