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LA Angels 2021 spring training guide: best infield in the league?

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ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 01: Albert Pujols #5, Anthony Rendon #6 , Matt Thaiss #23 of the Los Angeles Angels, and David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate defeating the Houston Astros 5-4 in the tenth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 01, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 01: Albert Pujols #5, Anthony Rendon #6 , Matt Thaiss #23 of the Los Angeles Angels, and David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate defeating the Houston Astros 5-4 in the tenth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 01, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Jose Iglesias (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Jose Iglesias (Last Five Seasons)

  • 2016: 513 PA .255/.306/.336 4 HR 32 RBI
  • 2017: 489 PA .255/.288/.369 6 HR 54 RBI
  • 2018: 464 PA .269/.310/.389 5 HR 48 RBI
  • 2019: 530 PA .288/.318/.407 11 HR 59 RBI
  • 2020: 150 PA .373/.400/.556 3 HR 24 RBI

The new guy in this group is veteran shortstop Jose Iglesias who was acquired from the Orioles for minor leaguers Garrett Stallings and Jean Pinto in December. With the conclusion of the Andrelton Simmons-era in Orange County, there was a lot of speculation on how the Angels would fill that hole.

David Fletcher has played in that spot over the past three years, when Simmons was injured. Given Fletcher’s versatility, it was expected that Maddon would prefer to have someone else as the everyday shortstop.

Jose Iglesias is an underrated addition to the Angels roster this season.

Gernal Manager Perry Minasian made a sneaky good acquisition by bringing in the very underrated Iglesias. The 31-year old has always been a glove-first shortstop; though he has never won Gold Glove and is just below the defensive excellence of Simmons. Still, Iglesias has been the owner of numerous web gems in his own right.

It is also good to point out that his offense has been trending up in recent years. A career 88 OPS+ hitter, Iglesias put up a career-year in 2020 with a 160 OPS+ in 39 games. While it’s a small sample size that is unlikely to remain over a 162-game schedule, the hope is that he can continue to hit and get on base while batting towards the bottom of the order.

Jose Iglesias is a nice pickup for the Angels, but it is worth noting that he is on the last year of his contract. If the Angels fall out of contention, his name will come up as trade bait, similar to Simmons in his tenure. However, with a loaded crop of free agent shortstops headlining the 2021-22 class, even if Iglesias helps the team remain competitive over the full season, his time in Anaheim could be limited.

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