The Los Angeles Angels have made the shocking decision to promote Zach Neto straight from AA to the majors. Neto will take David Fletcher's spot, as Fletcher will head to AAA Salt Lake.
LA Angels take big risk, promote Zach Neto
To say Zach Neto has impressed would be a wild understatement. Drafted in the first round last season, Neto has played in just 44 minor league games. 37 of them have been in AA, and that's as high as he's gone.
Neto has absolutely mashed playing for Rocket City, slashing .342/.418/.550 with seven home runs and 33 RBI in 170 plate appearances. This season he's played seven games there and has 10 hits in 27 at-bats (.444 batting average) with three home runs and 10 RBI.
The Neto promotion gives them a legitimate shortstop to play everyday and not cost the team defensively, like Luis Rengifo did last night. Neto should be in the lineup every single day playing shortstop.
While it's exciting to see Neto, this is undoubtedly a risk. Someone this inexperienced could easily struggle at the Major League level. He does appear to be incredibly advanced for someone so young, but you never know until you try.
Perry Minasian has said he'll carry the best 26 players. While that hasn't always been the case, this is certainly an example of that. The Angels were fine at shortstop with Gio Urshela, but this has the chance to be an upgrade.
Fletcher being demoted at this point is obviously surprising because of his contract and the fact that he's been a good player in the past, but he looks like a shell of himself. He has just two hits in 16 at-bats, and with Neto in the fold his playing time would disappear completely.
It'll be exciting to see if Neto can bring a much-needed spark to this Angels team. We know he can hit, but wonder how he'll adjust to big league pitching.