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Eppler grabs Nolan Fontana off the waiver wire and continues his patchwork of acquisitions

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Nolan Fontana spends most of his time playing 2B and SS

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before... The Angels sign a guy off the waiver wire who was once a top prospect for the organization that dumped him... No? You haven’t been paying attention. I think Billy Eppler has a Google news feed alert with keywords “released” and “former top prospect”, because that’s been pretty much his modus operandi since he took the reigns as GM.

Who is Nolan Fontana? Well, the Astros who are neck deep in prospects just let him go. The Astros picked up Fontana in the second round of the 2012 draft and he became their #10 overall prospect in 2012. By 2015 he had dropped to #29 and currently he was not on the top prospect list for the Astros.

According to this article from earlier this year:

Fontana gets the “gamer” rep, which generally means the player doesn’t have a ton of talent but makes the most of it.

Fontana is not the answer at second base for the Angels and he has yet to play a big league game. In 2016 he split his time between AA and AAA and hit .203 with 113Ks and 4 homeruns in 451 plate appearances.

He DOES walk a TON and has a career .379 OBP in the minors but only a .268 OBP in the PCL during 2016 with 407 plate appearances.

It’s unlikely this move was meant for much more than minor league depth because even at the major league level, Fontanta is a utility guy at best and the Angels already have a few of those. He was placed on the 40-man roster and Juan Graterol was DFA’d, but that is mostly procedural I’m sure.

So let me be the first to say - “Welcome to Salt Lake Fontanta, that thin air should allow you to hit at least .240.”