The Angels acquired reserve outfielder, Daniel Robertson, late Thursday night from the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Daniel Robertson, 29, had an impressive rookie campaign last season in Arlington. Robertson hit .271, driving in 21 runs, and swiping 6 bags across 70 games for the Rangers in 2014. Dan failed to collect any home runs in his debut season, but 10 of his 48 hits did account for extra bases. Robertson posted a respectable .667 OPS, and registered a 0.3 oWAR in limited action. Robertson is a quality contact hitter, as he struck out just 28 times in 177 at-bats.
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Defense may be where Robertson will provide the most value to the Halos in 2015. Robertson played all three outfield spots last year, and played them all well. Robertson stared 31 games in leftfield, 21 in center, and 18 games out in right field. He posted a fielding percentage of .981. The Angels will likely utilize his versatility by employing the Fontana, Calif., native as their fifth outfielder.
MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg caught up with Angels’ general manager, Jerry Dipoto, earlier for comment. Dipoto praised Robertson’s attitude describing him as, “a run through the wall kind of guy.” Dipoto went on to suggest that Robertson will compete for a spot next spring in Tempe, adding that “judging by how hard he prepares and goes about his business, he’s got as good a shot as anybody of making the club.”
Aug 26, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Alfredo Marte against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In a corresponding move, the Halos designated, Alfredo Marte, for assignment. This move clears a spot on the Angels’ 40-man roster for Robertson. Marte spent the 2014 season in Arizona with the Diamondbacks. The Angels claimed the 25-year-old outfielder off waivers back on October 7th. Marte has posted a career .174/.236/.282 stat line over 66 career games at the big league level.
After being selected in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft by the San Diego Padres, Robertson has excelled at every level of the minor leagues. The Oregon State University alum has posted a career .303 batting average, with 26 home runs and 314 RBI’s over parts of 7 seasons in the junior circuit.
Robertson is just 5’8, but he has a canon for a right arm. In just 70 games last season he tallied 7 outfield assists. Robertson totaled 118 career assists in the minor leagues. I personally saw him show off his arm strength against the Seattle Mariners in 2014, when he gunned down, Robinson Cano, attempting to turn a single into a double. Cano was out by a solid 10 feet on a perfect throw from Robertson.
I remember watching Robertson this past September and being impressed with the way he plays the game. His play is reminiscent of former Angels’ fan favorite, Reggie Willits. Willits played solid defense and utilized his plus speed patrolling the outfield for Anaheim between 2006 and 2011. Manager, Mike Scioscia, loved the way Willits played the game, and my hunch is Robertson could quickly become a favorite of the Halos’ skipper.
I expect Robertson to make the club out of spring training, and push, Collin Cowgill, for the fourth outfield spot. I could potentially even see Robertson partially platooning with, Josh Hamilton, in leftfield. This would allow Hamilton to slot in as the designated hitter on occasion to save his body. This trade may not grab the headlines, but it could have a bigger impact on the 2015 season than many would predict.