1 Angels infielder is finally showing he deserves to stick around

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Luis Rengifo was one of the few bright spots from what ended up being an extremely rough 2022 season for the Los Angeles Angels. He got regular at-bats and hit 17 home runs while being one of the Angels best hitters for much of the season.

With all of the additions the Angels made, particularly in the infield, playing time would be pretty sparse. With injuries to key infielders like Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh, Rengifo found himself playing more than the Angels might've expected, and he was doing next to nothing offensively. Many Angels fans were losing patience with him.

Through the month of May, Rengifo was slashing .198/.298/.267 with two home runs and 16 RBI. He had walked more than we were used to seeing, but Rengifo had lost virtually all of his power. Phil Nevin stuck with him even though I very clearly wanted him gone, and it's starting to pay off.

LA Angels infielder Luis Rengifo is finally showing he deserves to stick around

Luis Rengifo ended the month of May with one hit in his last 23 at-bats. Since the calendar turned to June, he's completely flipped a switch. After recording a three-hit game in a start in Houston, Rengifo has started every game since and has had a great month.

The switch-hitting infielder has nine hits in his 23 at-bats with two home runs and four RBI. He hit two home runs in the first two months of the season and had two in a three-game span.

Each of Rengifo's RBI's this month have come in the clutch. He hit a game-tying home run against the Astros, had a game-tying home run against the Cubs, a go-ahead hit in that same game against the Cubs, and had a go-ahead hit against the Mariners.

Rengifo has hits in six of the seven games he's appeared in this month, and has seen his OPS raise 71 points from .571 to .642.

Do I think Rengifo should play every day? Absolutely not. But he's finally starting to show why the Angels held onto him for as long as he did. His defense will never blow you away, but Rengifo has the skills to contribute offensively.

Rengifo providing value offensively while also playing virtually every position on the diamond outside of pitcher and catcher makes him an important piece. He won't play everyday and shouldn't, but having someone who can hit off the bench while being versatile is valuable.