Taylor Ward –
For Taylor Ward his path to the majors has been a long and windy road after being drafted in the first round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of Fresno State. From 2015-2017 Ward was a catcher in the Angels system and showed very strong defensive skills, however at the plate he was just a little above average. Hitting just over .250 with 22 homers and 136 RBIs in two-and-a-half seasons in Single and Double-A.
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With his career in neutral Ward and the Angels decided to make a switch changing Ward from catcher to third base in hopes that his bat would perk up and it did. In 2018 Ward went from Double-A to Triple-A, to the Majors in a matter of months after hitting .349 with 14 homers and driving in 60 runs.
Ward was promoted when the Angels traded Ian Kinsler to Boston forcing Fletcher to move back to second base and opening the door for Ward to get a shot at third base. Ward showed some power hitting six home runs in only 135 at-bats, and driving in 15 runs. However he hit only .178 in 40 games played.
However, Ward hit some big home runs twice hitting game-tying homers and hitting two game-winning homers including a walk-off two-run blast in Mike Scioscia’s final game as the Angels manager capping a three-run ninth inning rally against Oakland.
Ward definitely needs some more work both at third base and at the plate, but has a tremendous upside and is known as an extremely hard worker by members of the Angels’ coaching staff. If the Angels decide to stay totally in-house at second and third base Ward could have a chance to be the every day third basemen if Zack Cozart is not ready to start the season or if he falters in the early going.
With Cozart only signed through 2020 Ward could be the Angels third baseman of the future if not the present.