When the Angels traded for Jose Iglesias this offseason, they expected some highlight-reel plays and a solid bat. I don’t think they were expecting to see it all as soon as they have in spring training.
Iglesias added another web gem on Wednesday in the Halos 4-2 win over the Royals.
It wasn’t the first time Iglesias went all-out on the field, and it won’t be the last.
You can rank these in whatever order you see fit, but it’s possible these are the plays of the year and the regular season hasn’t even begun. Aside from flashing the leather, the 31-year-old has shown relentless effort in exhibition games.
Iglesias has two triples this spring, and he could have easily jogged into second base like we see players do all the time. Instead, the new Angels shortstop didn’t let up on his way to third. This is the kind of effort, in spring training and from a player with a guaranteed spot, that should set the standard for the rest of the team.
If another player isn’t matching or exceeding Iglesias’ levels of effort, they’re doing something wrong.
Iglesias has been no slouch with the bat either. Last summer, he slashed .373/.400/.556 with three home runs and 24 RBI through 39 games in Baltimore. In his nine-year career, Iglesias holds a solid .278 batting average and .700 OPS.
The Angels mark the fifth different team Iglesias has played for, but it’s possible he finds long-term security in the offseason. This season Iglesias will make $3.5 million in the final year of his contract. The 2022 shortstop free-agent class is loaded with big-name talent, and if he plays well, Iglesias will be an option for teams who don’t want to break their banks but still get production.
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The productivity will also be intriguing for contending team’s looking for infield help at the trade deadline. If the Angels fall out of contention, it’s possible they can land a top prospect depending on how well Iglesias is playing.