The 4 most important Angels who have to prove they belong in the big leagues

Sep 29, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth (63)
Sep 29, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Chase Silseth (63) / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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2) Nolan Schanuel

Nolan Schanuel was picked in the first round by the Angels this past season and made it all the way to the majors after just 22 games played in the minor leagues. The Angels hoped the rookie would give them a lift and help them make a playoff run after C.J. Cron's injury. The Angels obviously failed to win much after Schanuel's call-up, but the youngster did make a good impression.

Schanuel was thrust into the leadoff spot from the jump and looked like he belonged, posting a .402 OPS and reaching base in all 29 games he appeared in. Schanuel already has an elite eye and looks like the perfect modern day leadoff hitter, but the sample size is small, and there are clear deficiencies in his game.

Schanuel didn't look great defensively at first base. This should improve with Ron Washington in town, but is something to keep in mind. Additionally, the power was non-existent. He had just one home run and three doubles in his 132 plate appearances. Four extra base hits from a first baseman in 109 at-bats is less than ideal. Getting on base is great, but the Angels would love for him to do some damage offensively.

Schanuel looks like the first baseman of the future for this Angels team. He'll undoubtedly get the first crack as the starter at that position, but how long he remains in that role is entirely dependent on how he plays. On a team that lacks many high-end prospects, the Angels would certainly benefit from Schanuel proving that he belongs.