Shortstop David Fletcher is making his case for the LA Angels’ backup utility infielder position.
Spring Training has officially started for the LA Angels. While most fans have caught a glimpse of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani or a lighter Albert Pujols, minor leaguer David Fletcher has performed well in his role thus far.
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It also seems that Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia wants to get a better look at Fletcher as well. Starting him in the majority of Spring training games. Since the Angels will most likely carry 13 pitchers on their 25 man roster, they will be limited in bench players so the ability to play multiple positions will be a factor in making a decision.
So far this Spring training, Fletcher has collected a team-high eight hits on just 12 at-bats. Posting a batting average of .667. He even managed to steal home.
However, Fletcher is no stranger to performing well in Spring Training. Fletcher’s career Spring Training stats are impressive. In 48 at-bats, Fletcher’s batting average is .479 along with an OBP of .545. While it is a small sample size, Fletcher is performing well when given the opportunity.
Fletcher has some competition though. Possibly the favorite to win the backup infielder position is 2010 first round draft pick Kaleb Cowart. Unlike Fletcher, Cowart has Major League experience but is unreliable. Although Cowart is a plus defender, his career batting statistics are lackluster, posting a slash line of .197/.257/.318 in 115 games over three years. Cowart did perform well at times last season, but his flame ultimately ran out.
Besides Cowart, another possible favorite to win the Angels’ bench spot is Colin Walsh. Walsh is the definition of versatility because he has the ability to play all four infield positions and even the outfield. He also can get on base, having a career .397 OBP in the minors which is attractive to Angels’ general manager Billy Eppler. Walsh did appear in 38 games for the Brewers in 2016, but only managed a batting average of .085.
Fletcher will most likely start the season at AAA Salt Lake since he is a non-roster invitee. But, barring an injury, don’t be surprised if you hear his name some time this season.