The LA Angels have had David Fletcher manning the hot corner as of late. However, after trading Ian Kinsler, Fletcher will likely take over at second. The team has a plethora of options to take over at third.
In their first game since trading Kinsler, the LA Angels deployed Jefry Marte at third base. They also called up Kaleb Cowart from Triple-A to fill in on the bench. While Marte has value and potential at third, there are plenty more options for the Halos to consider heading into the twilight of 2018 and into 2019.
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The first option is currently in Triple-A, and is the #8 prospect in the Angels’ system. Taylor Ward switched from catching to manning the hot corner prior to the 2018 season, and the former first round pick is experiencing a breakout season. He is slashing .358/.448/.561 in 187 at-bats in Salt Lake this season. He has 49 strike outs compared to 30 walks, so could improve in that area. However, this season has seen him breakout and Halo fans will be itching to see him in Anaheim with an apparent occupancy at third base.
They may not be seeing him soon, and general manager Billy Eppler explained that move earlier Tuesday.
“The game is going to present you with a variety of plays and the randomness of those plays is hard to replicate in practice,” Eppler said. “For him getting an opportunity to play third base every day in Salt Lake, at this moment in time is what we felt was best” (per Jeff Fletcher, Orange County Register).
Another option could be hot prospect Luis Renfrigo. The 21-year old was acquired for C.J Cron earlier this year, and lit the minor leagues on fire. Across three levels, Renfigo has hit .312 with 26 doubles and 10 triples. He has better walk and strikeout numbers than Ward, with 57 and 50, respectively.
However, Renfigo will likely spend the rest of the year playing shortstop for the Salt Lake Bees, as he has been the past few weeks.
While there are plenty of options, it appears Luis Valbuena, Marte, and Cowart will play the majority of games at third base. Ward and Renfigo could both be fighting for roster spots come 2019 though, and Ward could especially make an impact.