Jared Walsh made a name for himself in the 2020 and 2021 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, but a series of injuries in 2022 was capped with surgery that ended his year.
In 2021, Walsh posted a .277/.340/.509 slash including 29 home runs and 98 RBI in only his third full season in Major league Baseball. The former 39th-round draft pick in the 2015 MLB Draft became an incredible surprise to an Angels lineup that was in big need of a left-handed complimentary power-bat.
But a right intercostal strain nagged at him in 2021, and his most recent season was hindered by multiple trips to the injured list. On Aug. 25, Walsh was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which caused him to head to the 60-day injured list and ended his season.
In 454 plate appearances from Opening Day until his final game, Walsh carried a .215/.269/.374 slash with 15 home runs, and 44 RBI. However, Walsh’s power numbers took a huge dip, and he suffered from elevated strikeout rates.
Walsh dropped his wRC+ by 48 points from the year prior and because of his immense falloff and later-revealed shoulder injury, the Angels offense missed his usually consistent production.
Aside from on-field play, Walsh was named as the Angels’ nomination for the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award, an incredibly prestigious honor.
In early August Walsh was named the club’s 2022 Heart & Hustle Award, which was established in 2005 and is the only award voted on by former players prior to the All-Star break.
Jared Walsh 2022 highlight
On May 18, Walsh had his only multi-homer game of the season against the Texas Rangers, and again on June 11, he had a four-hit game against the New York Mets, when he hit for the cycle en route to an 11-6 win.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is an incredibly invasive and difficult recovery, and some players don’t return to the same form they had prior. Former Angels hitting coach Jeremy Reed expressed his high confidence that the first baseman would be able to regain his pre-injury stride and continue being a pillar in the lineup, but time will tell.
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