LA Angels News

Three Breakout Candidates for the LA Angels

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 01: Jaime Barria #51 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to his strikeout of Jurickson Profar #19 of the Texas Rangers to end the sixth inning at Angel Stadium on June 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 01: Jaime Barria #51 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to his strikeout of Jurickson Profar #19 of the Texas Rangers to end the sixth inning at Angel Stadium on June 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Manager Mike Scioscia, Ian Kinsler #3 and Albert Pujols #5 congratulate David Fletcher #6 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the first nning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Manager Mike Scioscia, Ian Kinsler #3 and Albert Pujols #5 congratulate David Fletcher #6 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the first nning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

David Fletcher

Last season, David Fletcher was one of the many players the Angels had to call upon for significant playing time as injuries decimated the roster. While many of those players weren’t able to fill in adequately, Fletcher was an outlier.

When he replaced Ian Kinsler at second base, Fletcher was as solid as they come. Kinsler, one of the best power-hitting second baseman in recent history, was a much different archetype than Fletcher, whose game is reminiscent of David Eckstein. And as coincidence has it, Eckstein and Fletcher may end up serving parallel roles for the Angels.

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Eckstein was a solid fielder and a staple in the lineup as a leadoff hitter. In a lineup that features stars at the top, an adequate leadoff hitter is extremely important. Last year, Fletcher performed superbly at both third base and second base. He also filled in as the leadoff hitter, where the team found success with him hitting in front of Mike Trout.

Both players have their power restricted by their small frames, but not every player has to hit for power in order to be an above-average player. Fletcher has the power to drive the ball into the gaps for extra bases, which is what you hope for from a potential leadoff hitter.

And Fletcher’s role is only expanding for the Angels. He will reportedly take reps in the outfield this Spring Training, as well as second and third base. David Fletcher has all the potential to be an super-utility player in the MLB, and it could very well end up being his role going forward.

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So for a breakout in 2019, Fletcher is set up nicely. He is going to see regular playing time either at third base or second base, and if he can maintain his numbers from last season at the plate, he will score a lot of runs as the leadoff hitter for the Angels. I mean, if he gets on base Trout, Shohei Ohtani, or Justin Upton is bound to drive him in most of the time, right?

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