1 Angels player who stunk in 2022 but should be much better in 2023
There are plenty of Los Angeles Angels players who had down years in 2022. The team as a whole went 73-89 and were out of it in August and September. They even had a 14-game losing streak which frustrated superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Some of the players who had rough years will not be on the 2023 team. The Angels will need to shake things up if they want to be competitive.
While some of the players who struggled will be gone, others will get another chance. I believe among those players is Jared Walsh.
Expect Jared Walsh to bounce back in a big way in 2023 for the Angels.
Jared Walsh showed the kind of hitter he could be in 2020. In that shortened season, Walsh played in 32 games and hit nine home runs in just 99 at bats. That's a 45 home run pace in a full 162 game sample.
In 2021, after de-throning Albert Pujols at first base, Walsh slashed .277/.340/.509 with 29 home runs and 98 RBI. He was an all-star and an elite hitter.
From Opening Day in 2022 Walsh just wasn't the same player. He was decent for the first three months, slashing .260/.303/.462 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI.
After the month of June, things took a turn for the worst for the first baseman. Walsh would slash .138/.188/.200 in July and .129/.228/.229 in August. He hit two home runs and drove in just four runs. He was a shell of himself.
It's no coincidence that the Angels fell apart after Walsh's decent start. He was one of virtually the whole roster who either struggled or was injured after April.
It turns out, Walsh was hurt all season. He's actually been hurt for years. When the Angels tried to make him a two-way player he experienced tightness in his neck and left shoulder. He played through it, but it really started bothering him a lot during the final six weeks of his season. This was July and August.
Walsh was shut down with thoracic outlet syndrome on August 24th. He slashed .215/.269/.374 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI overall. Not a great season, but we know what likely caused it.
Walsh is expected to be ready for Spring Training and this injury should be behind him. I expect him to be that 25-30 home run hitter who can hit fifth or sixth for Los Angeles and make a huge impact in what should be a deeper lineup.