LA Angels News

One under-the-radar outfielder the Angels can sign

Sep 30, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits
Sep 30, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Los Angeles Angels have a hole in left field. Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak can try to win the spot, but if I'm the Angels I'd look elsewhere.

Aaron Judge is the best outfielder on the market by far. There are some red flags around signing a contract like that though, and I'm not sure the Angels should do that.

There are some solid second-tier options, but those will be highly coveted by the teams that miss out on Judge.

Michael Conforto makes sense as a buy-low under-the-radar outfielder that the Angels can sign.

Since debuting in 2015, Michael Conforto has been a fine outfielder for the Mets. He's a guy who can hit 30+ home runs while getting on base at a solid clip and playing good defense in a corner outfield spot.

Conforto was an all-star in 2017 when he had a .939 OPS and hit 27 home runs. Conforto averaged 29 home runs per season from 2017-2019 and he hit as many as 33 home runs in 2019.

The shortened 2020 season was his best, as he slashed .322/.412/.515 with nine home runs and 31 RBI. He tacked on 12 doubles and had a 154 OPS+. He was one of the best hitters in the National League. I get that it's a small sample, but even if he cooled down slightly he'd have an all-star caliber season.

Conforto struggled in 2021 and received a qualifying offer from the Mets which the outfielder rejected. Conforto then hurt his shoulder during the offseason and went unsigned. Teams didn't want to pay the compensation pick when he wasn't healthy.

Conforto underwent surgery and is now healthy. Without a pick attached to him, the Angels have a shot at getting an undervalued asset.

When right, Conforto can hit 30+ home runs and have a .380+ OBP. He can hit right in the middle of that lineup and offer protection to guys like Ohtani and Trout. He can give the Angels solid play in a corner outfield spot as well. He was in the 63rd percentile in outs above average and the 89th percentile in arm strength in 2021 according to baseball savant. He's a solid fielder with a cannon of an arm.

The Angels would be depending on a bounceback from the 29 year old but I don't think he'd cost too much since he hasn't played in over a year. The Angels need to find a way to round out the roster within Arte Moreno's limits as he looks to sell the team. Signing Conforto to a team-friendly deal while focusing on pitching seems like a good way to do that.

Next. Should the LA Angels sign Aaron Judge?. dark

facebooktwitterreddit