Los Angeles Angels: Three Players That Will Break Out In 2017
1. Matt Thaiss – First Baseman – Burlington Bees.
The Los Angeles Angels selected University of Virginia catcher Matt Thaiss during the first round of the 2016 draft. Currently, he plays first base for the Class-A Burlington Bees. Thaiss is a big-time slugger from Jackson New Jersey.
In his first season for Burlington, Thaiss played in 52 games, posting a .276 BA. He also has an OBP of .351. Thaiss scored 24 runs, with 4 homers, and 31 RBI’s. These numbers cannot be overlooked.
Now, the Angels have a good first baseman in Cron, who came into his own last season before his injury. However, the Angels could use a catcher who could put up these numbers. Anyone who can help the batting order get more singles should be welcomed.
The fact of the matter is Thaiss posted 55 hits in 52 games. The Angels could seriously use that consistency. Now, it’s unlikely that Thaiss will get called up to the Angels roster anytime soon. However, he could have a stint on the new Double-AA Bay Bears or Salt Lake Bees.
Regardless of how the Angels use Thaiss next season, this kid is a big part of the Angels future. The Angels would be wise to look at bringing him up in the farm system.
2. Javy Guerra – Closer – Salt Lake Bee’s.
Javy Guerra tried mightily to win a spot in the Angels rotation this past off-season. The former Dodgers closer is on a road to redemption after being suspended for 50-games for a second positive drug test.
Without going too far back, Guerra has since turned his life around and is looking to reclaim the closer position. The Angels have Huston Street who has had major injuries and a drop off in production in the closer post.
Last season, Guerra posted a 3-2 record with an ERA of 4.35 and 57 strikeouts. Those numbers don’t jump off the page for the Angels. However, his numbers in the past have been substantial.
What will remain questionable was the substance abuse. The Angels invested money into Josh Hamilton who battled his own substance issues and it is still costing the Angels dearly.
Guerra being a closer is a risk. The reward could be powerful for the Angels. The need for a solid closer is one of the greatest on this roster. We need a player that can maintain a lead and keep a win.