The Los Angeles Angels acquired Luis Rengifo as the player to be named later in the 2018 trade that sent C.J. Cron to the Tampa Bay Rays, and he would go on to make his MLB debut the following year.
After initially struggling against big league pitching, Rengifo finally came into his own this past season. He opened the year with Triple-A Salt Lake and hit a scorching .313/.384/.525 with 11 extra-base hits and 15 RBI in 24 games.
The Angels promoted Rengifo in early May and he would continue swinging a hot bat. He finished the month with a .290/.353/.436 slash line, two home runs and six RBI in 19 games.
Rengifo saw his production drop in June but bounced back the following month by hitting .333/.374/.452 with six doubles and 11 RBI in 24 games. He would go on to post a .745 on-base plus slugging in the second half, which was up 51 points from his first 58 games of the season.
Rengifo particularly crushed left-handed pitching as he batted .315/.339/.570 with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 22 RBI in 172 plate appearances against southpaws.
In 127 overall games, Rengifo hit .264/.294/.429 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 52 RBI across 511 plate appearances while accumulating 2.4 WAR. He also provided value with his versatility by appearing at five different positions.
Renigfo was a finalist for the American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award at the utility position, but lost out to the New York Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu. Rengifo was also a finalist for a Silver Slugger Award among AL utility players, which went to the Minnesota Twins’ Luis Arraez.
Luis Rengifo 2022 highlight
Rengifo enjoyed his best performance of the 2022 season on September 16 against the Seattle Mariners, when he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI in the Angels’ 8-7 win.
Renigfo went on to have another two-home run game against the Mariners two days later and finished the month of September with six big flies.
After a breakout 2022 campaign, Rengifo will look to build on his success in his fifth season with the Angels. He will continue playing all over the infield and should benefit from the ban on defensive shifts, but he may end up taking over as the club’s primary shortstop.
Before Rengifo gets his 2023 season started with the Angels, he will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic for either Team Venezuela or Team Colombia.
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