When the LA Angels won the 2002 World Series they had some star power in Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, and Troy Glaus. However, it was the unsung heroes David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio that put them over the top that season.
This season the LA Angels have a couple of new unsung heroes in Tommy LaStella, although he is injured and will be out for awhile, and even more important this season is David Fletcher. Fletcher is a picture of versatility playing six different positions this season and doing well no matter where manager Brad Ausmus plays him.
Fletcher’s peers have voted him as the Angels nominee for the baseball Heart and Hustle Award. The award is voted on by the MLBPAA and the recipients show a love and spirit for the game of baseball and honors the tradition and values of baseball at its finest.
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David Fletcher has not only been versatile, but effective as well. Fletcher has been a team catalyst hitting in numerous spots in the line-up especially as the table-setter in the lead-off spot. Fletcher has been on fire in July hitting .328 this month with three homers and 11 RBIs with a .435 OBP scoring 14 runs in the last 15 games. It is no coincidence that the Angels are 11-5 during those games and are starting to climb back into the wild-card race.
With Fletcher setting the table it has led to Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani getting hot giving them players on base for Trout and Ohtani to drive in. You have seen Fletcher hustling to take that extra base or making a diving play in the field.
All good teams need a few unsung heroes, the tough, gritty guys who are that X-Factor and that’s what Fletcher is for the Angels in 2019. Ironically the player that Fletcher is compared to the most is David Eckstein who was coined the X-Factor by fans. This year’s team is coming together with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani leading the way, but it is guys like David Fletcher, Tommy La Stella, and Andrelton Simmons who are just as important as a supporting cast that rounds the team out.
As for the Heart and Hustle Award that David Fletcher has been nominated for, I don’t think there is a better or more deserving candidate than Fletcher. Without him I don’t know where the Angels would be at this point of the season.