Hunter Renfroe Hopes Winning Culture Follows Him To Angels
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees
Apr 18, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Hunter Renfroe (12) hits designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) across the chest in the high five line after defeating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels sit among the heart of the American League West three weeks into the season, but there are already early signs that if things can click, they could have a solid formula to make a push toward the postseason.

Having both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the roster should be a recipe for success, but as fate would have it, the duo’s most prolific baseball performance came in the 2023 World Baseball Classic played prior to this regular season. But with both superstars being the beneficiary of supplemental roster additions, manager Perry Minasian can effectively gameplan for an aggressive trade deadline if need be.

One of his offseason adds was that of right-handed outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who in recent years is one of the more underappreciated power bats in all of baseball. Through 64 at-bats, the 31-year-old has posted nine extra-base hits, four of which have left the ballpark.

Renfroe is with his fifth team in five seasons and is accustomed to postseason baseball, a goal he’d like to check with his new club, via Jim Alexander of the O.C. Register:

“I think any time you have a (playoff) drought, and you have such a great team on paper,” that fan anxiety can mount, newcomer Renfroe said. “Obviously the seasons haven’t been going as well as they thought (they) would in the past, and obviously we have a lot of talent this year and we want to go as far as we possibly can.”

As Renfroe notes, the fans have been void of a playoff atmosphere for nearly all of Trout’s time with the Angels, but haven’t seen Ohtani toss one postseason pitch while with the club. After being traded to the club in his final year of arbitration, his motivation to perform is at an all-time high and he wants the fans to have a reason to come out to the ballpark:

“I was … on a lot of the losing ends in San Diego, and to see how their program has adjusted and how the fans responded to them winning, it’s pretty special to see,” he said. “So I hope to bring it here…”

Minasian should continue to analyze the roster and how he can further aid in their push to their ultimate goal which is a home playoff game and an eventual run deep into October.

Zach Neto forced Angels’ hand in his promotion

Following David Fletcher’s option to Triple-A Salt Lake and Chris Rodriguez being transferred to the 60-day injured list, the Angels selected the contract of Zach Neto to make his MLB debut.

Neto was selected by the Angels out of Campbell University with the 13th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and quickly rose through the system. He hit a stellar .444/.559/.815 with three home runs and 10 RBI in seven games with Double-A Rocket City which gave the front office little doubt when calling him up.

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