Needing some help in the outfield, the Los Angeles Angels turned to their top prospect — Brandon Marsh — to provide quality depth. It had been a difficult season for Marsh, who dealt with injuries and struggles at the plate. However, he turned things around after taking a month off due to shoulder inflammation.
Marsh dominated with the Angels’ rookie ball team at the Arizona Complex League, then he continued his hot hitting back at the Triple-A level, going 13-for-36 over eight games with the Salt Lake Bees. This made the Angels organization comfortable enough to give him the call to the Majors, as Mike Trout and Justin Upton remain sidelined.
The 23-year old new Angels outfielder couldn’t contain his excitement when looking back to Saturday, as he got the call from the team that he would be starting on Sunday, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“I thought it was Sunday and I was missing a day game,” Marsh told Bally Sports West before the Angels’ game against the Seattle Mariners. “I was freaking out. I called him back, and he told me to hurry up, get on a plane, ‘you’re going to the show, kid.’ (Saturday) was one of the best days ever.”
On the stat sheet, Marsh’s debut didn’t go as well as he hoped. He went 0-for-4, striking out twice, and was unable to show off his speed in center field. However, Joe Maddon saw plenty of things he liked out of Marsh.
“I thought he did well,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “I liked his swing a lot. He wasn’t tested in the outfield. You saw how well he ran to first base … Calm, even though he probably wasn’t. I liked the way he moved.”
Marsh probably should have gone 1-for-4 with a double, as he hit a screamer of a ground ball up the first base line in the eighth inning. However, Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France made an impressive play, snagging the well-hit ball before delivering a perfect throw to the covering pitcher. Most times, that ball gets through for a base hit.
While Marsh will get plenty of chances to show his abilities over the next week or so, it will be interesting to see what happens when Trout and Upton ultimately return. Between those two, recently acquired Adam Eaton, and Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares, there may not be many opportunities for Marsh.
Maddon believes he should stick around for the rest of the season, but there is always some uncertainty given the talent in the Angels outfield at full strength.
Eaton hoping to make immediate impact
While Eaton’s time with the Angels will likely be short-lived — just for the rest of this season — the outfielder sees it as an important stop. He’s hoping he can help the team win games now and make a playoff push this season, and believes in his fit with the team at full strength.