One of the major story lines early on in the 2021 season was the struggles of Los Angeles Angels second baseman David Fletcher. Known for his clutch hitting and contact acumen, he had a slash line of just .255/.287/.294 for an OPS of .581. He also had zero home runs and just 17 RBI’s at this time, at one point being demoted to No. 9 in the Angels order.
Then, on June 13, something clicked. Fletcher went 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and a double in an Angels win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, and since that day, Fletcher has not played a game without getting a hit. As the Angels enter the All-Star break, Fletcher is sporting an absurd 24-game hit streak. In those 24 games, he’s slashing .439/.455/.592 for an OPS of 1.047. He has two home runs and 15 RBI’s.
Safe to say Fletcher has figured out what his earlier issues were at the plate, and corrected them in the biggest way. Joe Maddon spoke about Fletcher’s mindset and why he is deserving of a spot at the 2021 All-Star Game after this outburst, according to Ethan Sears of The L.A. Times:
“[Fletcher] could not be more confident right now,” Maddon said. “You can’t feel better about him being on your team right now. He deserves everything he gets.”
“I don’t wish anybody ill,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, “but I’d love to see him sneak into that [All-Star] game on Tuesday somehow.”
For as bad as Fletcher started, it would be impossible to know by looking at his total season stats. He’s slashing .309/.336/.381 with 32 RBI’s on the season. Those are just slightly worse numbers than 2020, which was his career year.
Hopefully, the All-Star break doesn’t cool Fletcher off, as seeing his hit streak has undoubtedly improved the confidence and morale of the rest of the clubhouse. Between him playing at this level, Jared Walsh being an All-Star, and Shohei Ohtani having one of the best seasons of all time, there’s some level of positivity heading into the second half.
Also, the Angels will likely get back Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton back, making their lineup extremely potent.
Trout running, close to rehab assignment
Trout is just a few days away from being eligible to return from the 60-day IL. First, he’ll need to prove he can run at full speed, and would likely do so on a rehab assignment. It has not been determined what level he will go to for that, but a return is in short order for the Angels superstar.