Has LA Angels' All-Star infielder returned to glory yet?
By Evan Desai
Last season, First Baseman Jared Walsh was the second-best player on the LA Angels. He slashed .277/.340/.509 (.850 OPS) and played good enough defense to where he was an AL Gold Glove Finalist over at first base. Recording a 128 OPS+, it was clear that the Halos found a good one in Walshy.
To start this year, however, Walsh didn't look right. His defense has been there all year (just five errors all season), but he slashed just .213/.276/.313 (.588 OPS) in his first 23 games of the year. It was early, but it was tough to see Walsh show flashes of just a one-year wonder (although he was great in the 32 games he played in 2020).
Angels fans knew he was better, and since then, he has been. He still has had his ups and downs, however. He hit for the cycle on June 11th, but he also had 14 hitless games in his next 44 outings after those first 23. Against the Kansas City Royals in Game 2 of the Halos' series against them, though, he may have indicated that he's back to his old ways.
Jared Walsh hit a double, a triple, and a home run for the LA Angels on June 21st.
Jared Walsh was just a single away from his second cycle over the span of 11 days for the LA Angels. He has absolutely been looking like the Walshy of old. In his last 27 games (as of after his near-cycle outing on June 21st), Walsh is slashing .295/.321/.543 (.864).
Now that's a bit more like the Walsh Angels fans have grown accustomed to. Check out the extra base hit numbers too. Walsh has collected FIVE home runs in those 27 games to go along with SEVEN doubles and TWO triples. Walsh wasn't even putting up those types of power numbers last year.
If Tuesday was any indication, Walsh is back. Will he be an All-Star again? Well, that will come down to how great of a next couple of weeks he can have.
All he needs to do to get right back in the discussion, however, is to just continue playing like he has. The 123 OPS+ First Baseman can play great defense in multiple spots, and is swinging a hot bat.