Whom the F*** is that Guy: Jared Walsh

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jared Walsh #25 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a grand slam home run in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 21, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Drake Mann
MLB Analyst

“Adapt or die”-Moneyball

The Angels yet again have been underwhelming to start the year in 2021. Mike Trout is not the only positive for the Angels so far. Jared Walsh has arguably been one of their best hitters to date and provides excellent protection to Mike Trout in this Angels lineup. You’re probably asking who this guy is?

Who is he?

Jared Walsh was a 39th round pick in the 2015 draft. At one point, Walsh was a promising two way prospect for the Angels. He pitched to a 1.80 ERA in five innings all the way back in 2019. Now, he’s officially stopped being a pitcher and is now a full time position player.He struggled in his first year hitting .203/.276/.329 with a 59 OPS+ and a 58 wRC+ in 87 plate appearances. One thing was apparent with Jared Walsh, he could hit the ball hard. His average exit velocity was 91.3 mph and his max exit velocity was 109.7 mph. 

In his second season, this trend continued his max exit velocity was among the top 10% in the league at 112.8 MPH. However, the only difference was he started seeing results as he hit .293/.324/.646. His wOBA exploded from a measly .259 to .393 in 2020. Walsh is the perfect prototypical diamond in the rough player. 

2021 Stats (So Far):

Batting Average: .317 (13th in baseball)

On-Base Percentage: .380 (26th in baseball)

Slugging Percentage: .571 (13th in baseball)

On-Base Plus Slugging: .951 (12th in baseball)

Home Runs: 10 (23rd in baseball)

Runs Batted In: 34 (11th in baseball)

Weighted Runs Created Plus:160 (13th in baseball)

Wins Above Replacement: 1.3 (36th in baseball)

Stats as of 5/23/2021

What I find interesting is his on-base percentage so far, his walk rate went from 4.6 percent in 2020 to now 8.0 percent in 2021. This has propelled his on-base percentage to blossom so far in the early season. 

In 2021, Jared Walsh has been something special for the Angels. Yes, they are anchored by Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani but few others fall into the same category as Walsh as a major run producer for the Angels. This is one player to watch throughout the season as his ability to get on-base has increased, his power is showing up as he’s hit 10 home runs in 179 plate appearances after hitting 9 home runs in 108 plate appearances in 2020 and he can play both the infield and outfield. Angels fans get excited for this bat in your lineup for a while. 

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