The Angels have now completed their first 11 spring training games on their schedule. There has only been a small sample size of the players getting live game action, who will be in the starting lineup come opening day. Although, the Angels have flashed some of their young talent from their minor league system. By doing so, it has put the Angels at the top of the standings in the Cactus League with a 7-3-1 record.
Matt Thaiss is a left-handed bat who has really showed his raw ability this spring to Angels new manager, Brad Ausmus. Thaiss is batting .500 with one HR and nine RBI in his six games played this spring. He is tied with Peter Bourjos with the most hits on the ball club with eight. Thaiss is doing an exceptional job putting the ball in play and splitting the outfield gaps with three doubles and two triples.
Thaiss has moved his way up the Angels farm system from rookie ball to club-AAA just over three minor league seasons. Thaiss was a first-round selection by the Angels in the 2016 MLB draft when he was selected with the No.16 overall pick. Thaiss came out of the University of Virginia where he was the team’s catcher. He was then converted to a first baseman when the Angels organization got their hands on him, fresh out of college.
Peter Bourjos is back in an Angels uniform once again. The former Angel has flashed his extraordinary speed on the base paths once again this spring. Bourjos is hitting .500 with two home runs and six RBI. Bourjos has always been known as a terrific defender and one of the faster players in the game, but his lack of offensive production has weighed him down from being an everyday outfielder.
He’s spent the last five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves. Bourjos hasn’t had the opportunity to be an everyday player since his last stint with the Angels in 2011. After a good start with the Angels, his spring training production might be just enough to help propel him onto the big league club.
Jarrett Parker has raised some eyebrows in the Angels organization during his Spring Training games. Parker is a left-handed hitting outfielder who’s put up big numbers this spring. Parker is hitting .545 with three home runs and seven RBI this fall. Parker is leading the team in home runs, which may help plead his case to make the teams roster when the season starts. Parker could fill the role of the Angels fourth outfielder on the 25-man roster.
Parker has spent all three of his major league seasons with the San Fransisco Giants where he was plugged in as an extra outfielder and played against right-handed pitchers. Parker is a career .257 hitter in the big leagues and plays quality defense. If he continues his high level of play, the Angels may give him a shot to backup Khole Calhoun in right field.