LA Angels: Max Stassi has provided instant upgrade behind plate
By Evan Desai
The production from LA Angels‘ catchers this year has been absolutely dreadful.
That is, without Max Stassi in the picture.
Kurt Suzuki and Drew Butera had been doing the catching by themselves for long stretches of the season this year, due to Stassi being injured for many games this year.
Since Max Stassi has returned, he’s provided a spark to the LA Angels.
Suzuki is hitting an embarrassing .200/.277/.267 this season. (All stats in this article are as of what they were entering Tuesday night’s game.)
Butera has impressively found out how to be worse. He’s hitting a terrible .094/.091/.125 on the year. It got so bad that he had to be sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Since Stassi’s returned, however, the Angels are 4-2 (3-1 with him starting). He’s an upgrade over Suzuki.
In those 4 games that Stassi started, he’s 7 for 15 with two home runs and five RBI. He’s had a couple doubles as well, and he raised his batting average to .318.
He hit more home runs than Suzuki has all season in just those four starts, and drove in just as many runs as Suzuki has all season in just those four starts.
He’s hitting .318/.388/.568 on the year. Yep, he’s batting .118 points higher than Suzuki, getting on-base 11.1% more of the time than Suzuki, and has double Suzuki’s slugging percentage.
His three home runs in these first 16 games for him isn’t a bad number, especially when considering how he’s hit two recent homers.
In his small sample size this year, he has the second-highest batting average on the team amongst players who have played in at least 16 games, the second-highest on-base percentage, the second-highest OPS (.956), the third-highest slugging percentage, and the third-highest BB% (10.2%).
He’s a spark that’s been needed. He’s a great defender, and is now swinging the bat at a really high level.
Stassi needs to keep getting his starts, and he’ll keep producing. If he keeps this up, there will certainly be teams calling to trade for him at the deadline. But if he keeps this up, the Angels won’t be interested in trading him.
They’ll be in the playoff hunt.