For the LA Angels, could they possible have too many good players?
Maybe it isn’t too many good players, but the LA Angels definitely have some sort of annoyance. For Brad Ausmus, “annoying” is exactly the word he used to describe shortstop/second baseman/third baseman/outfielder/emergency catcher David Fletcher.
No, he wasn’t using it in a derogatory way. He was calling Fletcher annoyingly good at baseball. He provides solid defense at nearly every position along with consistently good hitting.
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Again, how annoying.
The only annoying part, and what Ausmus was getting towards, is that the Angels just don’t always have room in the lineup for David Fletcher to start.
A .287 hitter who rarely strikes out can’t find a place in the lineup everyday? That is pretty annoying.
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At second base, Tommy La Stella has been equal to (if not better than) Bryce Harper at the plate. Shortstop is dominated by Andrelton Simmons, rightfully so. Zack Cozart has been horrendous, but the Angels have a lot of money invested in him so will give him as many chances as possible.
In the outfield, Brian Goodwin has been one of the 15 best hitters in the American League. Mike Trout is well, Mike Trout. Kole Calhoun is heating up at the plate and provides phenomenal defense.
So really, Fletcher is just the odd man out right now. And that is incredibly annoying. However, it’s still a net benefit for the Angels. The role Fletcher has taken on is one that contenders in the MLB have had over the past few years, and they often end up in MLB folklore.
Fletcher has essentially evolved into a super utility player, reminiscent of Chris Taylor for the Dodgers, Marwin Gonzalez with the Astros, and Ben Zobrist with the Cubs. With rest days, injuries, and pitching matchups, Fletcher is still going to start the majority of games. He is the ultimate chess piece for Brad Ausmus. If not, he can come off the bench and play *literally* anywhere on the field.
Obviously Fletcher (and the Angels) still have ways to go before he ends up as a World Series hero like Zobrist, but they’re on their way.
However, for the time being when Fletcher doesn’t start, it is indeed, incredibly annoying.