As the Los Angeles Angels gear up for the upcoming 2023 MLB season, one player who will be looking to build on his breakout year is outfielder Taylor Ward. Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, the 29-year-old is coming off a career season in Anaheim in 2022, where he hit .281/.360/.473 with 23 home runs and 65 RBI. This marked a significant improvement from his previous four seasons, during which he hit just 15 home runs and 55 total RBI.
Ward’s impressive performance in 2022 was further solidified by his position as a full-time starter, playing in 135 games for the Angels. This was a significant increase from his previous career-high of 65 games played, indicating his growing importance to the team. Despite Baseball Reference’s projection that his playing time may see a slight dip in 2023, with the Ohio native expected to hit .266/.339/.440 with 17 home runs and 57 RBI over 506 at-bats, he is still expected to be a regular for the Angels.
One of the reasons for Ward’s value to the team is his versatility. Throughout his career, he has appeared in various positions, including right field, center field, left field, third base, first base, and even catcher. While he will mostly see time in the outfield and third base, where he has played a combined 283 of his career 294 games, his ability to play across the field has been a significant asset for the Angels.
In 2022, Ward appeared in 132 games in the outfield, with 125 in the rightfield. He was a solid outfielder for the franchise, committing just five errors on the season over 288 chances and recording six assists. While the Angels acquired Hunter Renfroe from the Milwaukee Brewers this past offseason, it is expected that Ward will smoothly make a move to left field. His athleticism and fielding abilities will translate well to this position, making him a top-notch left fielder for the Angels in 2023.
The Angels will be looking to improve on a poor 2022 season that saw them go 73-89, despite having two of MLB’s best players in center fielder Mike Trout and pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani. Despite their talent, the Angels have struggled to sustain success over the last decade, making the playoffs just once in 2014. With the regular season set to start on March 30th on the road against the Oakland Athletics, the Angels will be looking to turn things around and make a significant impact in the 2023 MLB season.
Currently, Tipico Sportsbook has their season wins total at 81.5 games, an eight-contest improvement over last season but probably not enough to get them to the postseason.
As for Ward, he is poised to continue his upward trajectory in the league and solidify his position as a key player for the Angels. While his performance in 2022 was undoubtedly impressive, his versatility and ability to play across multiple positions will be just as valuable for the team in the coming season. With the Angels looking to make significant strides in the upcoming season, Ward’s continued success on the field will be essential to their chances of success.
In conclusion, Taylor Ward’s breakout season in 2022, his ability to play across multiple positions, and his impressive fielding abilities have made him a valuable asset to the team. As the Angels look to make significant strides in the upcoming season, Ward’s continued success on the field will be essential to their chances of success. Fans can look forward to seeing Ward and the Angels in action when the regular season kicks off on March 30th.