Assessing the Angels outfield situation with predictions (Part 1)
By Justin Gideon
Over the last couple of seasons, Angels outfielder Jared Walsh has been putting up big numbers in the minor league.
At the triple-A level in 2019, Walsh slashed .325/.423/.686 with 36 home runs over 382 at-bats. Walsh continued that success for the Angels in 2020 and enjoyed a breakout season where he posted a line of .293/.324/.646 with nine home runs in 99 at-bats. On top of that, Walsh also finished seventh in AL Rookie of the Year voting, just behind James Karinchak and ahead of Jesus Luzardo.
With the statistics Walsh put up, he appears to be a shoo-in for a corner outfield job. The only caveat is that Walsh only has 16 major league innings in right field under his belt, as he has spent the large majority of his appearances at first base.
Should the Angels consider trading Jared Walsh if there is nowhere to play him?
If other options are blocking Walsh from becoming an everyday starter, he would bring some excellent depth to the Angels bench. This is something that sometimes gets overlooked but it is an essentially part to any successful team.
There is also the possibility Walsh could make a valuable trade chip if the Angels see fit.
There’s no question that Walsh has earned his spot in the starting lineup for opening day. The only question that remains now is: Where will he play? The answer to that largely falls on Joe Maddon and whether or not he trusts Albert Pujols to man first base on a daily basis. If he does, Walsh will likely be moved to right field if he shows he’s capable of the task in spring training.