It’s been quite the week for Jared Walsh, the Angels’ 27-year-old rookie.
He appeared in only 31 games for the Angels last year, hitting one homer with an OPS of .605. Walsh began the season with the club, going 0-for-10 before being optioned to the alternate site. Since being called up, he’s been one of the best hitters for LA, especially the past week.
In case you missed it, he hit the game-winning home run last night in extras to defeat the Rockies. It was his fourth consecutive game with a home run. During his last five games, Walsh is 9-for-20 and swinging the hottest bat in the lineup.
“I’ve been more comfortable with more opportunities,” Walsh said to the media postgame when asked about his recent success. “It’s been pretty exciting. I want to savor this moment. I think its something Im going to hold onto a long time and cherish.”
“I felt very solid contact and then I heard the dugout yelling,” Walsh said. “I remember touching home plate. That’s all I remember.”
For Walsh, it’s safe to say he didn’t expect this kind of week when he was taken in the MLB Draft back in 2015. Why? He wasn’t drafted until the 39th round. Do you know how many 39th rounders have four consecutive games with a homer? Not many.
“I just found out today it was the 39th round,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “All I know is what I saw in Spring Training, thats what made my evaluation about him. He’s also a really good first baseman. He’s got power. His hands are that good. With good health and maintaining some simple mechanical issues, he can do this for a while.
“He’s not as jumpy. He has really good hands. I’ve been watching him since Spring Training. All of a sudden, he comes back and is doing what he does during batting practice. If he maintains that bottom half he’s got in the box he can do it for a while.”
Walsh said that the key for him is to just try and keep things simple and hopefully things will keep rolling for him. When asked about his role with the team, he said he wants to do whatever it takes to remain an Angel for a very long time.