LA Angels News

LA Angels: Updates on Three Pivotal Position Races

By Vincent Page
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 - 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 - 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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ST. PETERSBURG, FL – AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 – 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 – 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

When the LA Angels reported for Spring Training this year, there weren’t many position battles to watch. However, the few that did exist have all become very close battles between players who know their playing time is at risk.

For the LA Angels, their three main position battles are for the starting 2B/3B, fourth outfielder, and fifth starter. While none of them have been decided yet, there has been enough baseball to be played for us to provide an update on each.

The Fourth Outfielder

The fourth outfielder race is officially a two-man competition now, and even then it may still a runaway. Peter Bourjos has been absolutely amazing this Spring Training. A .478 batting average and slugging numbers well above his career average, Bourjos is putting up great numbers and is one of the three best players so far this Spring Training.

Obviously, Bourjos is no slouch in defense either. While he doesn’t have a great arm, his range is still elite, especially if he’s slotted in one of the corner spots next to Trout. Maybe the Angels wants to give Trout a day off? Bourjos is a natural center fielder. If he does end up winning this race, he’ll be a great option late in games as a pinch-runner or a defensive substitution as well.

This race would be over if not for one name, Jarrett Parker. The 30-year old former San Francisco Giants outfielder has been lighting it up in Tempe as well, to the tune of a .316 batting average and a handful of extra base hits. He has been driving the ball well, and his left-handed bat is a plus for an Angels team desperate for them.

While Parker doesn’t have the same versatility on defense that Bourjos does, he’s no slouch in the corner outfield spots. He has played center field in a pinch before, but his abilities are best suited for left and right field.

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