LA Angels: Who will serve as the team’s fourth outfielder?
By Vincent Page
The LA Angels have benefitted from a solid outfield ever since a certain guy named Mike Trout made his debut in 2018.
And while the LA Angels outfield of Trout, Justin Upton, and Kole Calhoun is impressive and (barring a 2017 version of Calhoun) could be one of the best trios in the league, their fourth outfield spot is yet to be determined.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen names like Eric Young Jr., Michael Hermosillo, and Chris Young see time as the team’s bench outfielder. However, going into Spring Training for 2019, there are multiple candidates in the race to join Trout, Upton, and Calhoun in the outfield.
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Hermosillo, who saw very limited action last year, is a name to keep an eye on. He wasn’t overly impressive in his brief stints with the Angels in 2018, but an offseason of work can change that. In the minors, Hermosillo has displayed all the tools necessary to be a solid big leaguer. Now it is just about translating those abilities and showing his plus-athleticism makes him a viable option come Opening Day.
Over the offseason, the Angels signed Peter Bourjos to a minor league deal. This came with an invitation to Spring Training, where Bourjos will compete to be the team’s reserve outfielder. Bourjos’ best trait is his speed and defense, which makes him an exceptional bench option on a big-league team. Whether manager Brad Ausmus wants to bring him in to pinch run for Albert Pujols late in a game or as a defensive substitute for Upton, where Bourjos’ range makes him a far better fielder. He can also fill in for any outfield spot if called upon to start.
There is also the possibility that infielder David Fletcher can be the team’s fourth outfielder. While he has been an infielder his entire career, playing second and third base, he handled himself well last season on the rare occasion Mike Scioscia put him out there.
While Fletcher could take on a super-utility role, he is slotted to be the team’s starting second baseman, making that tough. However, if the Angels sign someone such as Josh Harrison, who they’ve reportedly shown interest in, Fletcher could potentially serve as the team’s reserve infielder and outfielder.
While the fourth outfield spot is not the most pressing need for a club looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2014, the Angels do have a number of players who can fill the void. And if those players aren’t satisfactory, there are still a few names in free agency who could fill in great.