When Matt Duffy was signed to the LA Angels instead of the likes of Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, or any of the other big-name shortstops part of the exceptional 2022 offseason free agent shortstop class; not a whole ton was to be expected. There was supposed to be average offense and solid defense.
This year, however, there has been much more than that. There has been solid defense, with Duffy playing all of second base, third base, and first base this season for the Angels.
At second base he's already saved a run (despite an injury keeping him to just 31 games this year), and he's looked awesome via the eye test everywhere he's been. The offense from Duffy, though, has been solid too. For the first time in Duffy's career, he's batting over .300 at .303.
The closest Duffy has ever been to batting .300 was his almost-Rookie of the Year 2015 season where he batted .295. While he slugged a career-high .428 that year, he didn't have the .354 on-base percentage that he has this year. He had a .334 OBP.
Considering that Duffy didn't hit for power in either year, him hitting for a higher average and doing a better job getting on this season could argue that 2022 has been the better year. Therefore, it can also be argued that this has been his career year.
Matt Duffy has also shown much more versatility with the LA Angels than he did in 2015.
Matt Duffy has played 13 games with the LA Angels at second base, 10 at third base, and nine at first base. He's clearly providing more value on the defensive side of the game than he did in 2015 when he was really just a third baseman. He played 134 of his 147 games that year at the one position.
There's easily an argument that this has been the best year of his career. He's been easily the best offensive middle infielder that the Angels have had this year, and to not have negative defensive runs saved while playing three positions (and one of them being brand new in first base--he'd only played one game there in his career before this season) proves that the just $1.5 million investment was a strong one.