David Fletcher Might Fit On Angels' Short Bench
Middle infielder David Fletcher boosted his stock with a strong performance at big league camp. He was among the final cuts heading into the regular season, and the 23-year-old will likely be among the Angels' first callups this season.
A 2015 sixth-round pick out of Loyola Marymount, Fletcher is a skilled shortstop and second baseman who can slide over to third base in a pinch.
He is athletic with quick feet, soft hands, good instincts and solid range, and what he lacks in arm strength he usually compensates for with good positioning, excellent footwork, a quick release and accurate throws.
Fletcher hit .308 (16-for-52) in the Cactus League with three walks, five strikeouts and two stolen bases.
"He’s worked his way onto our depth chart, not only from the way he played last summer, but what he’s shown this spring,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There’s no doubt David has put himself in the conversation.”
The switch to a six-man rotation to keep Shohei Ohtani on the once-a-week pitching schedule he was accustomed to in Japan will force the Angels to go with a three-man bench.
Fletcher’s versatility and defensive reliability seemed to increase his chances of making the team, but he was edged out for the final spot by power-hitting corner infielder Jefry Marte.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Fletcher doesn’t have much power. He hits line drives and is known for his plate discipline and ability to grind out at-bats.
Fletcher hit .266/.316/.339 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 111 games at Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Salt Lake in 2017. He struck out 55 times and drew 27 walks. He will open the season at Salt Lake.
>> The Angels acquired second baseman Luis Rengifo, who hit .250 with 12 homers and 34 stolen bases in 125 games at low Class A in 2017, as the player to be named in the deal that sent C.J. Cron to the Rays in February.
>> The Angels designated reserve catcher Carlos Perez for assignment after he was pushed out of the picture by Gold Glover Martin Maldonado and free agent import Rene Rivera. Perez is out of minor league options.