The Angels are teaching their minor league players to be more versatile. The Angels Triple-A team the Salt Lake Bees have started to transition many of their players to play positions they are not used to playing.
For example, the Angels 5th ranked prospect Matt Thaiss according to, MLB Pipeline has started to get playing time at 3B when his natural position is 1B. The reasoning for this is that the Angels have 3 players around the 1B/DH area in Albert Pujols, Justin Bour, and Shohei Ohtani (when he comes back).
Many people believe that Thaiss is ready to play for the big league club and since he can only play 1B, there is not much playing time for him at the moment. If he were able to play 3B as well he could have been called up when 2B/SS/3B Zack Cozart went on the Injured List. The Angels instead called up 2B/SS/3B Luis Renigfo, who is ranked as the 10th best prospect in the organization according to, MLB Pipeline.
Nowadays in baseball, it seems as if you have to have the ability to play multiple positions. 1B C.J. Cron comes to mind when the Angels signed Shohei Ohtani, they had Cron, 1B/3B Luis Valbuena, 1B/3B/LF Jefry Marte, 1B Albert Pujols, and Ohtani at DH. All of those guys were vying for playing time at the 1B/DH position. Since Cron could only play 1B and was out of options he ended up being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later which turned out to be Luis Rengifo.
The limited amount of playing time Cron was scheduled to get in the 2018 season was limited with all of those options healthy and if he could have played 1 other position he likely could have stayed with the Angels.
The Angels are experiencing another one of those situations with the infield as Zack Cozart, Luis Rengifo, David Fletcher, Tommy La Stella, and Taylor Ward are all at 2B/3B positions. The Angels have a little bit of time to figure out this situation as Cozart is on the Injured List and Ward is in Triple-A. The Angels have begun playing Taylor Ward in LF after converting him to 3B from Catcher last season.
Taylor Ward said some interesting things about playing LF and said, “I like playing outfield a little. It’s giving me an opportunity to throw people out. I like that. Showing off the speed a little bit.”
Ward playing in the outfield could help him as it is nice to have players who can play multiple positions.
Featured Image: Brent Asay/Salt Lake Bees