Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian made a subtle addition for the future after retaining utility man Ryan Aguilar on a Minor League contract following his brief stint with the big club in late September this past year.
Aguilar, 28, was originally drafted in the 31st round of the 2016 Major League Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. After six seasons in their farm system, he was released from the Brewers Double-A team, the Biloxi Sounds, and was signed to the Angels in December of 2021 on another Minor League deal.
He never saw time above Double-A, but after a string of injuries during the 2022 regular season, the Angels needed some reinforcements, which opened the door for Aguilar to make his Major League debut.
On Aug. 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Angels called up Aguilar to spell Taylor Ward, who couldn’t travel with the team due to Canada’s rules regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Because of Aguilar’s career .280 batting average with 15 home runs, 48 RBI, and a .944 on-base plus slugging in 271 minor league at-bats leading into his call-up, the Angels believed he was worthy of his first taste of MLB.
Aguilar appeared in seven games for the Angels, hitting .136/.231/.182 with two RBI in 26 plate appearances. He largely struggled in his small sample with the Angels, striking out 14 times in 22 at-bats, and was optioned to the Minor Leagues on Aug. 29.
He finished the season with the Rocket City Trash Pandas hitting .272/.415/.491 with 15 home runs, 50 RBI and 56 runs scored in 93 games.
Ryan Aguilar 2022 highlight
Aguilar recorded a hit in his second career game on Aug. 27, a double off of Blue Jay’s right-hander Alek Manoah in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, he was gunned out trying to stretch it into a triple. Still, it was an impressive accomplishment recording his first hit off an All-Star pitcher.
Minasian has already signed Aguilar to a Minor League contract for the 2023 season, and given his position versatility, he could see a real opportunity to play a taxi role between the Minors and MLB. It’s unlikely he makes a big impact, especially with Brett Phillips, Mickey Moniak and Jo Adell competing for outfield depth roles, but at worst he provides solid depth for the organization.
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