LA Angels: Don’t let Jared Walsh’s All-Star season get buried by Ohtani
By Evan Desai
LA Angels’ DH/SP Shohei Ohtani is having arguably the greatest season of all time this year.
He’s been so dominant both with the bat and on the rubber that he’s going to not only start this year’s All-Star Game as the starting DH, but he’s also going to be part of the pitching rotation in the game.
Still, there are other stars on the Angels who have stepped up with no Mike Trout to rely on. Jared Walsh is one of them, and is having a phenomenal year. It should not be overlooked just because Ohtani has been so sensational.
Jared Walsh has been incredible this season for the LA Angels.
Jared Walsh is one of three LA Angels named to the American League All-Star team.
He won’t start the game, but is absolutely deserving of his All-Star nod.
He’s batting .282/.340/.571 this season with 22 bombs and 64 RBI. (All stats in this article are as of what they were after the series vs. the Red Sox.)
He’s hit 22 doubles here in the first half, and the All-Star break isn’t even here yet. He’s tied for second on the team in fWAR at 2.3. That’s fourth in the Majors among first basemen.
He has the second-most RBI and home runs of all first basemen in the MLB, as well as the second-best slugging percentage among first basemen.
He’s fifth in both batting average and OPS (.911) among Major League first basemen.
On defense, Luke Hooper of FanGraphs found that Jared Walsh has the second-best 40-foot split time in the Majors among first basemen at 2.18. This is correlated to his strong defense because it allows him to play further away from the bag. He saw that Walsh plays 42.9 feet off of the base, which really closes that 3-4 gap between first base and second base.
That range has been crucial, and Walsh’s glove has been so much better than Albert Pujols’. Walsh in general is so much better than Pujols, despite him looking slightly better with the Dodgers.
Jared Walsh has Angel fans completely forgetting about Pujols. He’s performing so much better than what he was both with the Angels and in Dodger blue.
Walsh is having an amazing offensive year, and his elite defense has him second among Major League first basemen in least errors made (two) and highest fielding percentage (.996).
I’m happy that Walsh is an All-Star, and us as fans will not let his story go untold this year.