The Los Angeles Angels gambled when they designated veteran outfielder Brett Phillips for assignment in May, but thankfully, he cleared waivers and joined the team’s Minor League system.
The 29-year-old has made a name for himself because of his stellar defensive play at all three outfield slots, while, at times, posting some very solid numbers against right-handed pitching. Phillips had spent the bulk of his time with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, taking the time to refine a few aspects of his game.
In 29 at-bats since his promotion back to the big club, Phillips has logged eight hits in 29 plate appearances. He’s added two home runs, five runs scored and three RBI, signaling a he’s continued his confident run from his Triple-A stint, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I came in with a totally different swing, and we saw early on that obviously the opportunity wasn’t going to be there to see if it played out,” Phillips said. “So it was honestly the best thing for me to go down to Triple-A and play every day. Get that confidence with a new swing. And I’m glad to see it’s translating so far. But again, it’s early.”
A week of play is a small sample size, but his approach, and how he looks from a confidence standpoint is what the Angels are watching. Had it not been for rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe misplaying a throw from Phillips in the fifth inning on Wednesday, his defense would’ve saved a run.
The Angels lost the series finale by one run to the Seattle Mariners, that out would’ve played a huge part. Defensive play is what sets Phillips apart from other outfielders, but if he continues the same productive run he’s on, he’ll be a solid depth piece for general manager Perry Minasian’s club.
Does Brett Phillips have a spot with Angels long term?
Phillips joined the Angels prior to the 2023 season in January after multiple seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
Because he still has two arbitration years left on his current deal, they’ll be able to keep him with the Angels on a low-cost salary number for the remainder.
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