While it’s never a problem for teams – especially the LA Angels – to have too much talent at any position, it seems they have an abundance of position player talent on their roster. This makes a player like Brian Goodwin have a questionable role going into 2020.
After breaking out in the first half of 2019 for the LA Angels, Brian Goodwin now faces competition going into the new year. While the release of Kole Calhoun originally seemed like it meant an easy pathway for Goodwin to find regular at-bats (at least until Jo Adell debuted), that is no longer the case.
After signing Anthony Rendon, the combination of David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella won’t be manning third and second base. Instead, it seems as if the competition will come down to La Stella and Goodwin. Fletcher is too good of a bat to take out of the lineup, and is an excellent second baseman and solid right fielder.
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This makes Goodwin’s role with the Angels murky. There’s an argument to be made that he’s better off being used as a trade chip in hopes of adding starting pitching. A lot of teams out there could use a cost-controlled player who can defend at any of the three outfield spots at an above-average level.
However, should he remain on the Angels, it’ll come down to him or La Stella as an everyday starter. Fletcher’s defense at second base should make Goodwin the more favorable option, but La Stella had better splits against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers last year. Goodwin will also face competition from the likes of Michael Hermosillo and Taylor Ward, though he likely has the edge over both of them.
Goodwin should see regular playing time to start the year. Joe Maddon expressed his fondness of Fletcher immediately after his signing with the Angels became official, and figures to utilize him in a variety of ways as manager. However, whenever top prospect Jo Adell arrives in the MLB, it’ll be when Billy Eppler and Co. are confident in him to be an everyday player. After that, Goodwin could find himself in a reserve role similar to last year. If Justin Upton doesn’t show some positive regression to the mean in 2020 (he should), Goodwin could form a platoon with Upton.
One way or another, whether it’s in an Angels uniform or via trade, Brian Goodwin proved last season he can provide a ton of value for the Halos, and that won’t be changing in 2020 either.