Luis Rengifo entered the 2023 season without a solidified role on the Los Angeles Angels. He's a guy they didn't have penciled into the everyday lineup, but he was going to play just about everywhere on the diamond and hopefully hit.
Rengifo took his super utility role rather seriously as he wound up playing six of the nine positions. It's not like he just played an inning in many of those spots, he had at least four appearances and at least three starts at all six positions. That alone provides value. His glove isn't subperb, but he proved to be a mostly adequate defender in the infield and outfield.
Rengifo's bat had its ups and downs in the 2023 season. He started extremely slowly but for the second year in a row really picked it up in the second half.
Luis Rengifo deserves a B grade for his 2023 season
To say Luis Rengifo got off to a slow start would be an understatement. He was practically unusable at the plate. He was getting fairly consistent at-bats due to his versatility and injuries the team was dealing with, but Rengifo had just a .637 OPS in the first half and truly felt like a DFA candidate at certain points.
The Angels kept him around, thankfully, and as he continued to get consistent at-bats in the second half, his bat started to really come to life. In 50 games and 198 plate appearances after the all-star break, Rengifo slashed .318/.374/.587 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI. He was really their only hitter who showed up in the month of August alongside Shohei Ohtani.
Rengifo was so good in August in fact, that in the final week of the month he won the AL Player of the Week award. Unfortunately, Rengifo followed the pattern of many of his teammates by finishing the season on the IL.
Rengifo's year is a bit difficult to grade because he was so bad when the Angels were winning games in the first half, but swung an incredibly hot bat in the second half for a prolonged stretch when the Angels had trouble just winning a single game.
He wound up slashing .264/.339/.444 on the year with 16 home runs and 51 RBI. He was tied for third on the Angels with Brandon Drury and Mickey Moniak with a 114 WRC+ while finishing fourth on the team in RBI and fifth in home runs. He went from a reserve role to an undisputed top five position player on the Angels.
His role in 2024 remains uncertain. It feels like he is without a solidified position but is a player the Angels will surely rely on heavily if and when there is a major injury.