The Angels are far enough out of contention, and I’m in no rush to think they’ll turn things around or go on a historic run, so it’s time to start taking little looks into the future. If there is one good thing to come from the Halos as of late, that can also be something we look forward to next season, it’s Jett Bandy.
He hasn’t had a ton of playing time this season, but it’s for sure been his first long foray into being an everyday member of a big league club, and he’s earning more and more playing time as the season progresses. Mike Scioscia is salivating...he has himself a legit, young catcher on his hands, it appears.
As Jessica noted in today’s weekly recap, he was basically one of the few bright spots of this past week of games (2 homers, .467 OBP), and that’s pretty indicative of what he’s been able to do in his total time up with the Angels in 2016. He’s got 36 games at catcher, but already has 1.2 fWAR. Put up against full time catchers in the MLB, that’d be good for 7th highest fWAR total from a catcher this season, and again, he’s done it in just 36 games.
He’s got a wRC+ of 132, which is pretty stout when put head-to-head with some of the other top catchers in the game, with a BA of .288 and SLG of .505 to go along with that. These are all numbers that put him up near the top of the deck of MLB catchers, but the caveat is still playing time.
Most of the other catchers at the top of the leaderboard have 100 or so starts under their belts, to Bandy’s 36, but the trends are all positive and extrapolating over a full season, it’s still pretty impressive. Things like his OBP, AVG or SLG should drop some, but I think if this guy gets more playing time, we’re going to see good things from his bat.
We also see great stuff from his defense, and he’s become fairly adept at gunning down MLB base stealers. The more he plays, the more his adapting, and he’s playing more and more. In his first full month up, he only played 13 games. The month after that, he played 16. At the very least, he’s solidified himself as a platoon member, if not the outright C 1a spot.
I watched Bandy play with the Bees last year, and made a wish that he not only made it up to the Halos, but that he thrived, because I desperately wanted to be able to scream “The Bandy Man can” in my living room on a regular basis.
Are we at that point? Can The Bandy Man can, for reals?