LA Angels News

LA Angels: Underrated Prospects Who Could Breakout in 2019

By Ryan Falla
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 15: American League All-Star Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels poses with the MVP trophy after a 5-3 victory over the National League All-Stars during the 85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 15: American League All-Star Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels poses with the MVP trophy after a 5-3 victory over the National League All-Stars during the 85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 22: Andrelton Simmons #2 and Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate a 2-1 victory over Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 22: Andrelton Simmons #2 and Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate a 2-1 victory over Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Jack Kruger, C

Jack Kruger plays one of the more valuable position for the Angels in terms of immediate needs for the future. As an offensively gifted catcher whom made the California League All-Star team (Class A Advanced MiLB) thanks to his potent bat and athleticism behind the plate. What makes Jack Kruger so promising isn’t just his offensive potential (.299/.357/.413 slash line in 2018), or his defensive metrics (.991 Fielding %, 37% Caught Stealing), but his rare athleticism.

On top of his offensive talents is his defensive excellence. In 2018 Jack Kruger posted a Range Factor per Game of 9.24, a stat which is calculated by putouts+assists divided by games played. For reference, the highest RF/G in the MLB by a catcher was Gary Sanchez with a RF/G of 10.08. What this means is that Gary Sanchez was involved an average of 10 plays per game, whether he assisted in the out or took it himself.

More. Full Breakdown of Jack Kruger

Jack Kruger held a RF/G of 9.24, which is just a hair outside the MLB Top 5 in RF/G with #5 being Yan Gomes at 9.40. Lets not forget that Kruger spent his time in the MiLB so this isn’t a direct skill comparison, but an example of how much of an impact Kruger is capable of making within the game. Coupling this with his caught stealing percentage of 37% shows you just how involved Kruger is from the backstop

As a final note, across the 2018 season Kruger nabbed a total 13 stolen bases while being caught stealing 5 of those times. That would be seen as solid from most other positions, but as a catcher that’s All-Star material. Oh wait, Jack Kruger was an All-Star in 2018. The chances at him translating his All-Star capabilities to the big league Angels in 2019 are very real, and we may see it very soon.

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