While the LA Angels seem to be content with their roster going into 2019, there are still questions about who is going to play second base. However, the team already has their answer.
Last season, the LA Angels watched David Fletcher get better and better as their season got worse and worse. If not for a certain Japanese Babe Ruth, Fletcher would have had a strong case for the team’s Rookie of the Year Award (Jaime Barria would be his main competition).
But for some reason, there are reports of the Angels going after veteran second baseman/utility player Josh Harrison. There are obvious knocks on Fletcher’s game, but he should have given the Angels enough confidence that he can be their starting second baseman in 2019, and possibly beyond.
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Last season, Fletcher flashed as soon as he entered the regular lineup. After a solid stretch of above-average defense at third base, Fletcher shifted to second base following the Ian Kinsler trade. And somehow, he played even better defense. Fletcher was even able to step into the outfield in a pinch, and while he didn’t make any highlight plays and his footwork was far from clean, with enough work he could develop into a super utility player.
At the plate, Fletcher surprised a lot of people with his ability to get on base and avoid strikeouts. While he’ll never give the type of power a Kinsler-type would provide, Fletcher’s offensive game is far superior to that of a reserve, which some believe is his future role in the MLB. While the Angels do have Jahmai Jones, one of the top second base prospect in the MLB, Fletcher’s performance in 2018 made it his position to lose, and 2019 should show us what a full season of the David Fletcher Experience truly looks like.
When Jones is ready, it wouldn’t be surprising for either him or Fletcher to move into the aforementioned super-utility role. For Fletcher, he would have to work on his outfield abilities, while Jones was originally drafted as an outfielder but moved to second base prior to last season. For him, he’d have to learn how to handle either shortstop or third base.
For the this season David Fletcher will be the everyday second baseman barring any unforeseen competition or injury. Next season, he may have done enough to hold onto the job. However, even if he doesn’t, there is no doubt David Fletcher will be a big part of the Angels’ journey for a World Series for years to come.