Jared Walsh – 1B and Left-handed Reliever
Everyone on baseball pretty much knows about the Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani and the success he had in 2018 both at the plate and on the mound. However, almost no one has probably heard of Jared Walsh. Walsh was drafted as a first baseman by the Angels out of the University of Georgia in the 39th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft.
Walsh languished around for the most part in his first two minor league seasons never making it higher than Double-A and floundering when he got to Mobile hitting only .232 in 20 games. Than last year a reevaluation happened as Walsh started to figure things out at the plate after starting the season at Single-A.
Walsh ended up hitting 29 homers and driving in 99 runs with a .277 batting average. Unfortunately the Angels have plenty of depth at the first base spot so Walsh would probably not see the majors this season as a first baseman. However, Walsh has a unique talent: He can pitch! Walsh was used as a left-handed reliever last season pitching 5.2 innings giving up only one run with seven strikeouts posting a 1.59 ERA in eight appearances.
Walsh also played 104 innings in the outfield, so now this makes him suddenly Mr. Versatility that no one on the Angels team can really match, except maybe newly re-acquired Kaleb Cowart. With Angels searching for an option as a lefty specialist and also needing another left-handed power bat, Walsh no could be really valuable.
We will have to see how he performs this Spring, but with his budding two-way ability, Walsh might be the surprise person that makes the Opening Day Roster. Again if Walsh doesn’t make the roster out of Spring Training he could be an early season call-up. Let’s see how it goes.