Angels Second Basemen of the Future: Taylor Ward
The catcher-turned-infielder-turned-outfielder could also be an option for the second-base position. Taylor Ward made the transition to third base during the 2018 minor league season and enjoyed a breakout campaign finishing with 14 home runs and a slash line .349/.446/.531. The offensive success was largely attributed to the position change, as he was no longer burdened by the responsibilities of the catching position.
Ward may benefit again from another position change. The Angels outfield currently employs Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Jo Adell, and Ward. due to the underwhelming performances of Upton and Adell, Ward has seen semi-regular playing time in the corner outfield positions. That being said, with top outfield prospect Brandon Marsh knocking at the door of the majors, and Adell expected to develop into a star, Ward is the odd man out and will have an even harder time carving out playing time in 2021.
That is unless he moves back to the infield. Unfortunately for him, third base will be locked up for a while by all-star Anthony Rendon, who signed a seven-year, $245 million deal this offseason. While he has logged no professional innings at second base, it may be in his best interest to learn the position and join in on the competition.
A transition back to catcher could also be in the cards for Ward. Although he hasn’t played the position since 2017, there was speculation before spring training that he might break camp as the third catcher behind Max Stassi and Jason Castro. A transition to catcher is very rare, and speaking from experience, as a former catcher myself, it’s a luxury to not have to put on those dang pads every inning. If Ward wants a shot at consistent playing time, a position change to either second base or catcher might be necessary.