Some LA Angels non-roster invitees making some noise during the Spring.
By David Rice
The LA Angels roster is slowly starting to coming together, but there are a few surprise non-roster players who are making a case to make the Opening Day Roster and they are not who you think they are.
The LA Angels always seem to have some non-roster invitees play well in training camp and make it tougher for the Angels coaching staff to let them go or send them back to the minors. 2019 is no different as there are multiple players who are surprising everyone.
The most notable players who are tearing it up this Spring are Jared Walsh, Jose Rojas, and Wilfredo Tovar. Walsh is a unique situation as he is another two-way player. Walsh can play first base and outfield as well as being a left-handed reliever. As a reliever Walsh has pitched three innings of scoreless relief and is also hitting .286 with three RBIs and has an outside chance of making the Angels as a left-handed reliever.
Jose Rojas is another surprise. Rojas is a third baseman and he can play outfield as well. So far Rojas is batting .421 (9 for 19) with six RBIs and he has hit two home runs. Rojas is a 36th round draft pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of tiny, Vanguard University. Rojas will probably be a victim of the number game as there is not a spot for him on the roster, but you could see him soon if he keeps it up.
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Wilfredo Tovar has also been amazing playing both middle infield positions and has not stopped hitting since Day One. Tovar is hitting .389 with two homers and driving in five runs. Again as with Rojas, Tovar will probably be a victim of the numbers game mainly because Andrelton Simmons is a fixture at shortstop for the Angels.
In addition to Rojas and Tovar, Matt Thaiss is tearing the cover off the ball hitting .450 with a homer and nine runs driven in plus he is playing flawless defense at first base. Thaiss has a chance of making the squad, with Albert Pujols and Justin Bour signed to major league contracts the Angels wil most likely not keep a third first baseman.
Finally the Angels top prospect Jo Adell is also showing what he can do hitting .353 going 7 for 17 with two RBIs. Adell may have a slim chance of making the squad if Justin Upton cannot get healthy in time for the start of the season. Upton is slated to see his first Spring action over the weekend as long as he does not have any setbacks.
The two non-roster invitees with the best chance of making the club are Peter Bourjos and Jarrett Parker, both of whom have a lot of MLB and are both outfielders. Parker, formerly of the San Francisco Giants. Parker is hitting .429 with two homers and six runs batted in. Bourjos leads all Angel hitters by virtue of his .400 batting average and has played great defense a well.
We will just have to wat and see how they do.