The Los Angeles Angels have officially called up top prospect Zach Neto and are hoping that he can provide some much-needed offensive help from the shortstop position. He has no doubt earned the call-up but it seems like a move of urgency as the season is still very young.
Why the LA Angels made this desperation move
There is no question as to why the team felt the need to make a move as David Fletcher was sent down as the corresponding move. The once versatile and tough at-bat shortstop has been struggling mightily at the plate, slashing .125/.125/.125 with an OPS+ of -31 which is an alarming sign.
Fletcher struggled last season as well before facing hip surgery which resulted in him only playing in 61 games that saw him slash .255/.288/.333 with a below-league-average OPS+ of 76. Hopefully, a demotion to AAA can help him solve some things as his versatility was highly coveted at one time.
Since Neto's call-up, he has slashed .333/.481/.476 in his last seven games as he is still acclimating to the big leagues. He has also flashed the leather at shortstop since his call-up with a stellar fielding percentage of 1.000 and a run saved at the position which shows his effectiveness at the position.
Neto oozes with confidence as Angels manager, Phil Nevin stated in an interview "He made some sort of comment like 'I know I gotta go down and get some work done, but I want you to know I'm ready." This kind of confidence can help boost a team in desperate need of uplifting spirits as they try to get to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The amount of depth lets Neto play the position comfortably as Gio Urshela can play first and third while Brandon Drury and Luis Rengifo can play virtually any other position. It primes Neto to fully focus on shortstop and hopefully bring the team the spark that they need from the position that they were certainly lacking.