Utility Infielders –
The Angels have a plethora of options for extra infielders and the more versatility a player has the better chances the player will have of earning a spot. The candidates are Jefry Marte, Colin Walsh, David Fletcher, and Kaleb Cowart.
Just like in the competition for the fourth outfield spot, each player has some good selling points. The first player in this list is Jefry Marte. Marte should be no stranger to Angel fans as he has played parts of the last two seasons with the Angels.
Marte had a nice first season with the Angels in 2016 hitting 15 homers and driving in 44 runs with a .249 average. However, in 2017 Marte slumped badly hitting only .173 with four homers and 14 runs batted in. The upside for Marte is that he can play both first and third base as well as left field. He is tearing up the Cactus League hitting .474 with a homer and five RBIs with a 1.331 OPS.
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Marte is versatile, but with Luis Valbuena under contract and having the same defensive spots minus left field and being a left-handed bat will make it tough for Marte to win a spot, but if Ohtani goes to the minors his chances will increase.
Kaleb Cowart is another familiar name to Angel fans and he can play pretty much anywhere in the infield for the Angels over the past two seasons, but he is also a long-shot as he has Beverly proven to be able to hit major league pitching on a consistent basis. Cowart can play shortstop,second base, and third base is a plus, but a career .197 average will make Cowart’s chances of gaining a spot on the roster a long shot at best. Cowart is also only hitting.212 this Spring.
David Fletcher is an interesting player and has been rated in the Angels top 10 prospects the past couple of seasons and has made a great showing this Spring. Fletcher can play both shortstop and second base, and in a pinch can probably play third base as well.
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Fletcher is hitting .350 with one homer and five RBIs with two stolen bases. He may not win a spot out of Spring Training but you will likely see him in the majors before the season is done.
The final player on this list is Colin Walsh. Walsh is a true underdog as pretty much an unknown coming in, Walsh has played his way into contention for a roster spot this Spring. Walsh has hit .290 with three homers and five RBIs and a .934 OPS. He has shown the ability to play shortstop, second and third base which would be valuable for the Angels and he has a decent chance of gaining a spot due to his versatility and ability to hit so far
If I had a pick here I would give it to Walsh with Fletcher being a close second for the spot. We will see what the last two weeks do to strengthen or weaken each player’s case for a roster spot.