The Los Angeles Angels promoted several top prospects this season, including Zach Neto, who joined the big league roster in April and went on solidify the starting shortstop job.
Neto immediately made an impact with his glove, but hasn’t been quite as consistent at the plate. He entered play Monday hitting just .227/.305/.387 with 16 doubles, nine home runs and 33 RBI in 78 games this season.
While those numbers leave little to be desired, Neto has recorded at least one hit in four of his last five games dating back to September 19, including a 2-for-4 showing against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
After the performance, Neto said he is starting to find a groove offensively, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“I’m starting to click a little bit,” Neto said. “Starting to see it little better than when I got called back up and. Just trying to try to keep having positive at-bats. Just trying to do anything I can to move guys over or bring them in.”
Although the Angels have nothing left to play for this season, the remaining games still give players like Neto an opportunity to finish on a high note and potentially carry that momentum into 2024.
Neto missed a significant amount of games earlier this year due to separate stints on the 10-day injured list for oblique and back issues.
When he was healthy, Angels manager Phil Nevin expressed confidence that Neto would continue improving in the power development, and Mike Trout had similar praise for the rookie as well.
Zach Neto voted Angels’ winner of 2023 Heart & Hustle Award
Last month, Neto was named the Angels’ winner of the 2023 Heart and Hustle Award, which is presented annually by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) to one player on each team who “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball,” along with factoring in on-field performance.
Neto joined the likes the Jared Walsh (2022), David Fletcher (2021 and 2019) and Mike Trout (2018, 2015, 2014, 2012) as recent Angels players to earn the honor.
The Angels have had two previous winners of the overall Heart and Hustle Award, which will be announced in mid-November on MLB Network. Trout won the award in 2012 and Torii Hunter was the 2011 winner.