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2019 Season Preview: Who will make the cut - Angels in the Outfield 2019 edition

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Time to look at the best 4 candidates for 2019

MLB: Spring Training-Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This spring, the Angels have used at least 14 different outfielders during their games. Those outfielders, in order of ABs (great than 20) are: Cesar Puello, Peter Bourjos, Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, Jo Adell, Jarrett Parker. and Brennon Lund. If you re-sort that same list in terms of actual innings played in the field, you have Cesar Puello, Peter Bourjos, Jarrett Parker, Brennon Lund, Jo Adell, Jhoan Urena, Kole Calhoun, Brandon Marsh, and Mike Trout.

It’s pretty clear the Angels were giving playing time to the minor leaguers early in camp to see how they are shaping up. Of course, most of those guys have been re-assigned to minor league camp so the numbers will start skewing back to the big league guys like Trout and Calhoun.

Missing from this list are Justin Upton (knee) and Michael Hermosillo (hernia surgery). Justin Upton is now listed as “questionable” for opening day and Michael Hermosillo is supposed to return any day now. Neither of them have seen any spring training action so far.

The Done Deals:

Mike Trout - Having only played 114 and 140 games the last two seasons, the only question that remains for Trout is how many games can he play this year? Trout, who is having a very Troutian Spring Training is nearing a critical time in his career with the Angels.

Kole Calhoun - Has a .956 OPS this spring but as Rick pointed out to me - no one is really shifting on him this spring. Calhoun was certainly a large disappointment early in the 2018 season and for the last month but did put together a solid stretch in the middle. In his last contract year, it would seem he has something to prove - especially with all the OF talent that is building up in the system.

Justin Upton - Upton is a key piece of the outfield in 2019 if he can stay healthy. Already, knee problems have caused him to sit out all of spring training to date and he may not even be ready by opening day. It will remain to be seen how healthy he can remain and who gets reps in his place if he’s out for any length of time.

The Second Tier:

Peter Bourjos - Given his HUGE spring so far, combined with Upton’s health issues - he seems like he may be a lock for a 3rd or 4th outfielder on opening day. Bourjos’ monster spring has him on the top of all outfielders in terms of OPS, home runs, and RBIs.

Jarrett Parker - Like Bourjos, Parker has been having an impressive spring - at least offensively. He’s hitting .318 with a 1.165 OPS and 7 walks to his 6 Ks.

Michael Hermosillo - One thing Hermosillo has going for him is his experience in 2018. His line for the year didn’t look so hot, but over his last 9 games he slashed .333/.412/.667. He’s going to have to get healthy and fast if he wants to crack that opening day roster.

Cesar Puello - Probably the longest shot of the bunch, Puello is hitting .273 with a .314 OBP and has played the most innings in the outfield. He’ll likely serve as outfield depth should the Angels see a slew of issues with the guys above him here.

Summary:

Outside of Trout and Calhoun, there appear to be some question marks in the outfield. If Upton isn’t ready opening day, then we may be looking at Bourjos plus either Parker or Hermosillo. Also important to keep in mind is that David Fletcher can play outfield in a pinch but they really need someone who can play CF in that bunch in case Trout needs a day off.

Possible opening day Outfield?

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Kole Calhoun
  3. Peter Bourjos
  4. Jarrett Parker