When I mentioned that the Angels strategy this offseason was to add quantity over quality, that is an understatement in regards to the right field. Last season, the corner outfield spots were clogged with a lack of production. It appears that instead of acquiring a top outfielder, the Angels have decided to bring aboard some options to fill the space until they feel Jo Adell or Brandon Marsh is ready to take the reigns. They’ve brought aboard four new names to compete for the role.
If the season started today, Dexter Fowler would be the starting right fielder. In the final year of his contract, he was acquired by the Angels in a trade with the Cardinals to hold down the position while Adell develops. Not only that, but he is expected to act as a mentor to the rising star.
"“They’re both high-energy, fun kind of guys,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Dex has had the experience of playing with a couple different organizations, a World Series hero. I see it as a being a good union. I really do. I mean, Dex is good for anybody. But [he and Adell have] similar kinds of personalities.”"
Over the course of his 13-year career, Fowler has bounced around a fair bit. He spent his first six seasons in Colorado, then Houston for one, Chicago for two, and the last four with St. Louis.
With the Cubs, he famously hit a leadoff home run in game seven of the 2016 World Series to help propel the organization to their first championship since 1908. An experience like that is always a welcome addition to any team.
How long will Dexter Fowler be the everyday right fielder for the Angels?
However, while it’s true that the intention with the Fowler acquisition is to start him in right field, I find it hard to believe his spot is guaranteed.
From a performance standpoint, he hasn’t exactly impressed in recent years. Fowler has not finished with a batting average above .250 in the past three seasons.
With the Angels desperate to get back to the playoffs, they will be eager to play the best lineup they can.
Fowler’s veteran presence is a plus, and the acquisition should be celebrated. That being said, I don’t believe his spot in the starting lineup is as secure as the Angels are making it out to be.
One of these players can take Fowler’s starting spot.