If someone asked just a couple of years ago about players Los Angeles Angels fans were excited about not named Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, Jared Walsh and David Fletcher would've been at the top of the list.
Walsh was an all-star in 2021 after hitting 29 home runs and driving in 98 runs. He looked like the first baseman of the future before a series of injuries and struggles offensively got him to the point where he was DFA'd and sent to the minors this season.
David Fletcher received MVP consideration in the shortened 2020 season, finishing 17th in the AL MVP balloting before some struggles and injuries led him in the same direction as Walsh.
Despite these two having lost seasons, both are set to be promoted in what could be their last chance to show some value to finish the season.
LA Angels promote two fan favorites in possible last chance opportunity for them to produce
After Fletcher's strong year in 2020, he was given a five-year extension to remain with the Angels through the 2025 season at the bare minimum with the possibility of him remaining an Angel through the 2027 season. This was a deal applauded by much of the fan base, but he's done very little to justify it since signing.
Fletcher made the Opening Day roster this season and has had a couple of looks in the majors, but is slashing .213/.245/.298 with one home run and eight RBI in 19 games. He has ten hits in 47 at-bats, Four of them came in one game, the 25-1 rout in Colorado. Fletcher has earned another look thanks to a .331 average in AAA.
Part of why Fletcher hadn't been called up until now is because of his contract status, which Sam Blum of The Athletic highlights here.
Walsh was set to be the Angels Opening Day first baseman before landing on the IL just before the season started due to insomnia and dizziness. When he finally came back off the IL, he had just eight hits in 67 at-bats (.119 average) with one home run in 28 games. Walsh struggled initially when he was sent down to the minors, but he does have a .903 OPS in September.
It's hard to expect much out of Fletcher or Walsh as neither player has done much of anything at the MLB level in a couple of years. When looking at the players they sent down, Kyren Paris and Jordyn Adams, they can't be much worse.
Walsh should see some time in the outfield with Nolan Schanuel locked in at first, while Fletcher could see time all over the infield.