The Los Angeles Angels could use another outfielder to fill out the roster for the 2023 campaign. Mike Trout is Mike Trout. Taylor Ward broke out this past season and could be even better next season. Left field is the vacant spot in the outfield.
Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak are both top prospects who have shown nothing at the big-league level. If the Angels have any dream of competing next season, they shouldn't go into Spring Training relying on one of those two to have a random breakout.
Aaron Judge is the best player and outfielder in this free agent class by far. While it'd be awesome to see him in an Angels uniform, I'm not sure how realistic that is for a variety of reasons. There are still some great outfielders that Perry Minasian should consider signing.
1) LA Angels outfield free agent target: Brandon Nimmo
Brandon Nimmo has quietly turned into one of the best center fielders in baseball. He's got an elite glove and a really good bat.
After being a corner outfielder most of his time during the minors, the Mets had Nimmo playing every day in center field starting in 2020. It was a disaster.
Since then. he's improved dramatically and is one of the better defensive center fielders in the game. Nimmo ranked in the 91st percentile in outs above average according to baseball savant.
Nimmo has improved every year since the change, and he even made possibly the catch of the year in a game against the Dodgers this summer.
Nimmo's glove is excellent, and so is his bat. Nimmo's best trait at the plate is his discipline and ability to get on base. His .388 OBP since 2018 ranks sixth in all of baseball among those with at least 2,000 plate appearances in that span.
He'd be the perfect leadoff hitter to get on base in front of guys like Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon.
Nimmo's one flaw is his inability to stay on the field. Nimmo played in 151 games this past season which set a career-high. He played 140 games in 2018 which was his career high. Those are the only two seasons in his seven-year career in which he's played in over 100 games.
When healthy, he's an elite player. He does just about everything well. Can the Angels rely on him to stay on the field? He's going to get a hefty contract. Nimmo would probably be in left field until Mike Trout can't play center anymore at a high level. Nimmo is 29 so he should have at least 3-4 good years in center left in him.
Nimmo is the second-best outfielder and the best center fielder available by far. Because of that, the contract will be large. The Angels might be priced out, but they should really consider bringing him in because he'd be an excellent fit in this lineup.