2020 Angels Bright Spots: Jared Walsh
After a lackluster 2019 cup of coffee that concluded with a .203/.276/.329 slash-line over 87 plate appearances, most people slept on Jared Walsh coming into the 2020 season. It wasn’t without merit either. He was a 27-year-old “prospect” that was blocked at his primary position. Sure, he had hit a combined 65 home runs over the previous two minor league seasons but had done so in hitter-friendly environments after not showing much power prior to 2018.
Nothing to see here, move along, right? Not so fast.
After making the Opening Day roster, Walsh was optioned back to Long Beach after just seven games in which he had gone 0-for-10. However, the trip back to the alternate training site proved fruitful and he came back with a vengeance.
After his recall on September 1st, Walsh gave the Angels the spark they needed going into the season’s final month. Over his last 95 plate appearances, the lefty slashed .337/.368/.744 with nine home runs and 26 RBI. Walsh ranked third among all rookies in both home runs and RBI, and he was named the American League Rookie of the Month for his efforts in September.
While there will still be questions about where Walsh plays in 2021 and if he can maintain that awakening, he certainly provided Angels fans a glimpse of another future bright spot in the lineup.