Intertwined into this year’s version of the Los Angeles Angels was the rocky nature in which David Fletcher endured a fair amount of regression.
After some early season struggles, the Angels opted to send Fletcher down to Triple-A to spend time with the Salt Lake Bees. In fact, he logged 85 games with the Bees, compiling an .810 on-base plus slugging with a 101 wRC+.
Those numbers weren’t overly inspiring, but it showed that despite a down year, Fletcher continued to work his way back to the big league level. Still under contract through 2025, with multiple club options after, all while making Major League money.
As a credit to him, he stuck the majority of the season out with the Bees, and since being called back up to the Angels on Sept. 15, he’s batted .273/.333/.364 in 37 plate appearances. Many of his Salt Lake teammates were called up as well, and spoke to Fletcher’s resiliency this year, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“One thing about Fletch is that he’s the same guy, no matter where he’s at,” said infielder Michael Stefanic, who was with Fletcher in Triple-A for most of the season. “He’s always hard working. He’s always out there playing hard, regardless of whether he’s at Triple-A or the big leagues. A lot of fun to have him in the clubhouse wherever you’re at.”
He’s been with the Angels since they selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, and Fletcher’s offensive output has never been his calling card. But when the defensive metrics don’t outweigh the bat, like they did this season, his struggles overshadowed everything else:
“I think it’s just normal ups and downs of a year,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think anything is different. I just had little stretches where I was a little off and didn’t feel as good at the plate. Nothing more than that.”
Fletcher’s future with the Angels will be determined by his ability to remain a decent piece to the roster, in terms of versatility, leadership, and being league average offensively.
His contract is a bargain with how cost controlled he is, with the club option years at the backend, but if he continues this downward trend of relying on bat-to-ball with no power, he’ll have a tough outlook.
Michael Sefanic feeling comfortable in second season with Angels
After hitting just .197/.279/.230 a year ago, Stefanic is batting a much improved .309/.397/.382 in 23 games entering play Thursday. The 27-year-old has also drawn seven walks in comparison to seven strikeouts.
Stefanic has had three different stints with the Angels this year after hitting a solid .365/.463/.467 with 20 doubles, five home runs and 62 RBI in 99 games for Triple-A Salt Lake.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!