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Which LA Angels non-roster infielders can make the Opening Day team?

By Ryan Falla
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL East All-Star, Jahmai Jones #9 of the Los Angeles Angels waits on deck during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL East All-Star, Jahmai Jones #9 of the Los Angeles Angels waits on deck during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Wilfredo Tovar

Wilfredo Tovar, at the age of 27, has only spent two seasons in the bigs, and those seasons were back in 2013/2014. 2013 saw Tovar hit .200 in 19 Plate Appearances while 2014 saw him record nothing in 3 Plate Appearances, no hits walks or strikeouts.

Since then, Tovar has been working in the Minors with the Mets (2008-2015), the Twins (2016), and the Cardinals (2017-2018). Overall he’s posted a career slash line of .264/.321/.344 in the Minors through 11 seasons, so he isn’t totally ineffectual. He didn’t get much chance anywhere even though his numbers tell the tale of someone who can be a serviceable depth option.

His 2018 season in Triple A saw him hit .297/.342/.386 with 15 doubles and 41 runs scored in 389 Plate Appearances. His 42 K’s to 24 BB’s in 2018 show that he isn’t striking out too much, but isn’t walking a lot either. He makes a lot of contact and gets on at a decent rate, but he isn’t walking as much as he should. A Spring Training is necessary for Tovar because we all need to see exactly how his abilities translate to a Major League level.

Is it feasible to think that he can translate his high contact rate to the Majors, especially considering since he isn’t walking so his only way of getting on is via the hit? This could make him an extremely predictable hitter and an easy out which makes this Spring Training critical for Tovar.

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Even if he doesn’t make the team he still needs to show he can provide depth value and be worth a Minor League stash. His limited offensive options could be a huge issue going into Spring Training, though he could also just be highly adept at making contact and it translates perfectly. Out of all the players invited he might have the most to show.

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