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4 LA Angels players who deserve an A grade for the 2022 season

Sep 5, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) is
Sep 5, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) is / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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4) Angels player who deserves an A grade: Taylor Ward

To me, Taylor Ward was somewhat of an afterthought heading into this season. He's a guy who can play a couple of positions and be a serviceable bat. Last season he did have a slightly above-average OPS+ of 107 in 65 games.

I did not expect Ward to be the player he was in 2022. The 28-year-old slashed .281/.360/.473 with 23 home runs and 65 RBI. He was in the top three for the Angels in average, runs, hits, home runs, and RBI. On a team that includes Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani who are guaranteed two spots and some other decent bats as well, that's an impressive feat.

Ward was in the top 15 of the American League with a 137 WRC+. That's just five points shy of Ohtani. He was ahead of guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, and Kyle Tucker.

His name flew under the radar because his team wasn't great and he's on a team with Trout and Ohtani, but Taylor Ward had an unbelievable season for the Angels.

He shattered his career highs in virtually every statistical category and has earned a starting role for at least the 2023 season. If next season is not a fluke, the Angels might really have something here.

Ward's baseball savant page is a thing of beauty as there are only red circles. He was in the 93rd percentile in chase rate and the 92nd percentile in xwOBA. He was disciplined, and he hit the ball hard. I'm so excited to see how he does for the Angels in 2023.

Next. Underrated Angels prospect enjoys freedom with pitching . dark

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