After spending nearly a month with the Los Angeles Angels in July, Michael Stefanic was sent down as a reset, but in his most recent call-up on Sept. 17, he believes comfortability has helped calm his process.
In 48 plate appearances in his July stint, Stefanic slashed .167/.271/.190 with a 39 wRC+, which prompted his option to Triple-A. Fortunately, his results ticked up after being sent down.
From July 29-to-Sept. 11, Stefanic posted a 136 wRC+, including a stretch of 14 games in which he carried a 1.237 on-base plus slugging. His bat-to-ball skills have never been questioned as a prospect, and it’s what has made him a hot topic prior to the season.
Stefanic and fellow Angels infielder, David Fletcher, share a lot in common in the batter’s box, and this time around he’s hoping his Minor League success continues in MLB, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I definitely feel more comfortable the second time around,” Stefanic said this week. “I feel like everything is more natural. I don’t feel rushed in the box. I’m excited to show that when I get on the field.”
Angels manager Phil Nevin has given Stefanic ample opportunities in the club’s last six games, including four starts and two pinch-hit spots. Nevin noted some subtle improvements in the 26-year-old’s approach.
“A little more patience,” Nevin said. “Attacking the ball well. We heard a lot about his swing decisions, getting on base and things like that. … You can see a little more comfort at the plate, for sure.”
The Angels added Stefanic to their 40-man roster prior to this year’s Rule 5 draft, protecting him from being snatched up by other clubs looking to add him to their roster. That move signaled continued confidence in him and his solid barrel rate and ability to get on base and keep strikeouts to a minimum.
Where does Michael Stefanic fit with the Angels long-term?
Given that Stefanic is an older prospect, the window of opportunity to break out and stick is that much smaller. His team control, however, is still there given that he is a pre-arbitration player.
With the limit on shifts on next year’s agenda for rule changes in MLB, Stefanic must continue to prove he can be a contributor not only at the plate but in the middle infield as well.
Stefanic has been rehabbing an Achilles injury, and because of that, his range has been limited and entrenching him at second base.