The Los Angeles Angels are inviting a number of non-roster players to Spring Training this year. All eyes will be on one player who could be on the Angels roster this season.
The Los Angeles Angels may have a weak farm system with much room for improvement. However, within that farm system is 1B prospect Matt Thaiss. The Angels drafted Thaiss with the 16th pick of last season’s MLB Draft. The University of Virginia catcher has played 1B in the minors for two teams, the Burlington Bees, and Orem Owlz. In 67 games Thaiss recorded a .292 average and an OBP of .361 in the minors.
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Thaiss is ranked as the Angels number one prospect via MLB.com, he also is only 21 years old. Even more ironic, is he hails from the neck of the woods as Mike Trout. Assuming that Thaiss doesn’t make the roster this season. He could likely move up to Triple-A and play for the Salt Lake Bees. Either way, Thaiss is a player to watch for the Angels.
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This, of course, adds to the infield situation for the Angels. Currently, C.J. Cron is expected to play first base. However, Luis Valbuena is in line for that position as well. Valbuena can also play third base which is held by Yunel Escobar. Having Thaiss would only add to the depth, however, you would think a trade involving Escobar would be on the horizon.
I assume the Angels are prepping Thaiss for a 2018 entry onto the Angels 25-man roster. With Escobar a free agent following this season, his absence makes way for Valbuena to move to third, while Thaiss and Cron battle for first.
Pitchers and catchers are due to arrive in Tempe Arizona on February 14th. The Angels have 26 non-roster invitees coming to Spring Training this season. Certainly, there are a couple of keys players within that number that could land themselves on the Angels roster came Opening Day.
Bud Norris is one of the more recognized pitchers that is a non-roster invite. The former Los Angeles Dodger is hoping to pitch his way to a position in the Angels rotation. He’ll have to battle 11 other pitchers who all have the same dream.