A former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels out of the University of Virginia in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, Matt Thaiss has played in parts of four seasons in his time with the club. Last year, he was needed on the big-league roster after a series of injuries to Kurt Suzuki and Max Stassi made him a necessary addition.
General manager Perry Minasian dealt with numerous deficiencies on the Angels roster, but the catcher position has been a decent strength. Thaiss saw his most time in the majors during the 2019 season when he played in 53 games, logging a .715 on-base percentage over 147 at-bats.
He got a cup of coffee in late June, but the bulk of his time came from the end of August through the remainder of the season.
Thaiss posted an 83 wRC+ over 81 plate appearances including two homers, eight RBI, and one stolen base.
He has been utilized at first base for a lot of his time with the Angels and in Triple-A, but Thaiss credited Stassi with some help regaining some of the nuances that come with being a big-league catcher.
Manager Phil Nevin praised Thaiss for his game calling, ability to block balls, studying opponents, and game planning, which were all qualities named by the current Angels skipper.
Thaiss’ contract situation coupled with recently acquired top prospect Logan O’Hoppe provides the Angels with solid depth moving forward.
Matt Thaiss 2022 highlight
Arguably his best game of the season came with the Salt Lake Bees on Aug. 9 after he went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, including three RBI, adding two walks. Thaiss did a solid job with limiting his strikeouts in the minors, but he absolutely needs to improve upon that at the MLB level.
Thaiss has a solid shot to make the roster this upcoming season because of the recent shoulder issues that Jared Walsh has endured and given his versatility to play catcher and first base, it makes him all the more valuable.
He’s a pre-arbitration player entering his age-28 season and should garner some looks in MLB in 2023.
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