In his fourth year with the Los Angeles Angels, first baseman Jared Walsh has made an impact for his team and also as a member of the community within the city of Anaheim and the surrounding areas. His efforts have earned him a meaningful nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award.
Being one of baseball’s most prestigious awards signifies a commitment to giving back and going beyond the field of play, regardless of on-field performance. Walsh is one of 29 other players nominated for the award, all receiving recognition for their own selfless acts.
Walsh highlights his family, and upbringing as the main reason for this nomination meaning so much, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“My parents are both from Pittsburgh, and Clemente was the entire family’s favorite player. So to be attached to that is really cool,” Walsh said. “Roberto Clemente was a Hall of Fame player both on and off the field. As a child, I was inspired by the way he played baseball and his humanitarian efforts of serving people in need. He was a positive force and risked his life to improve the lives of others. I am extremely humbled and honored to be this year’s nominee for the Angels.”
The 2022 season is the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente.
The Angels haven’t had a member of their team win the award, but regardless, each player nominated is recognized in their own way for the impact on their communities.
Rule changes could benefit Jared Walsh in 2023
Major League Baseball will undergo a series of rule changes next season, one that will benefit hitters league-wide, especially Walsh.
Amongst the changes, a ban on defensive shifts is in many people’s eyes, the most impactful because of its restriction of placing defenders in incredibly advantageous spots when facing pull hitters. This season, Walsh has faced a defensive shift 72.2% of the time, more than any time in his four-year career.
Walsh remains in the 64th percentile in hard-hit rate and although he’s taken a step back in max exit velocity, his 82nd percentile rate still bodes well for his future.