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2020 Angels in review: Max Stassi

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The catcher was great in his limited action of work

Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

After an eight-year career that has featured a lot of call ups, Max Stassi had arguably his best season for the Angels in 2020. Though he only appeared in 31 games, he saw career-highs nearly all across the board. There were four different catchers the Halos used in 2020, but Stassi saw the most action out of all of them.

Although it was a shortened season, his 31 games were the third most he’s played in a season for his career. The catcher hit seven home runs and drove in 20 runs. His batting average (.278), on-base percentage (.352), slugging percentage (.533) and OPS (.886) were all career-bests for him.

Stassi was the hottest hitter in the Angels’ lineup to begin the season. Through the first two weeks, he was hitting .333 with an OPS of 1.226. In only 24 at bats, he had hit four home runs and driven in 10 runs. After such a hot start, he quickly cooled off over the next week, as his average was only .143 over his next eight games.

Injuries were likely the reason for his decline in production, as he was placed on the Injured List with a right quad strain and knee bruise on August 21. He returned two weeks later and had a great finish to his season. Over his final 13 games, Stassi hit .311 with an OPS of .933. He hit three homers and drove in nine runs during this span.

Had Stassi not missed the two weeks with his injuries and not struggled over that eight-game stretch, he could have finished with some of the best numbers among all catchers in baseball. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s able to replicate his season in 2021, if given a chance to be the full-time starter for the Angels.

2020 particulars

Age: 29

Stats: .278/.352/.533/.886, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 139 OPS+

Salary: $800,000

Game of the year

Two of Stassi’s seven home runs came in one game on September 22 in San Diego. It was the best game of his career, as he finished with two homers, three runs driven in and two singles.

Roster status

Stassi has four years and 49 days of service time. He’s eligible for salary arbitration this winter.