A lot of 2020 for Luis Rengifo falls under the “What if?” category, especially after a subpar year.
Rengifo was reportedly headed to the Dodgers in February in a trade that would have netted the Angels both Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling, a deal that was never finalized. In theory, this trade would have shored up two areas of need in Anaheim, but in reality none of the players involved in the would-be deal had good years.
The switch-hitting Rengifo had just 14 hits in 90 at-bats, hitting .156/.269/.200. His BABIP was absurdly low (.206), but given his batted ball data his expected numbers weren’t great either, with a .184 expected average and .253 expected slugging percentage. As a right-handed batter, Rengifo was 4-for-36 with a .352 OPS.
There was some good news, with Rengifo increasing his walk rate from 9.9 percent to 13.2 percent. That’s promising for someone who hit well during the minors. Had there been a minor league season in 2020 with actual games, perhaps he might have benefitted from getting sent down to get things right. As it was, he was in the majors all year, except for three days in late August when he was optioned to the alternate training site at Long Beach State, only to quickly return.
Rengifo played almost exclusively at second base in 2020, with 26 starts, along with just four innings at shortstop and two innings at third base. He’s played some outfield in the minor leagues, and perhaps could increase his utility going forward by adding that in the majors.
Stats: .156/.269/.200, 1 HR, 33 games
Game of the year
On August 1, Rengifo was 2-for-4 against the Astros — one of his two multi-hit games in 2020 — and scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning, one inning before the Angels walked off the Astros.
Rengifo has one year, 147 days of major league service time, and has two option years remaining.