Los Angeles Angels: Andrelton Simmons leads four Halos finalists en route to fifth Gold Glove award

The slick-fielding shortstop is the most likely of four Angels who are finalists for the Gold Glove Award. 

Since the Angels acquired Andrelton Simmons from the Atlanta Braves, he has redefined the position for Halos fans. The Angels traded their own Gold Glove-winning shortstop, Erick Aybar, to acquire Simmons, and fans quickly forgot their former trophy-winning fielder. Simmons makes the plays that no one expects a shortstop to make at times making it look routine. His chemistry with second basemen David Fletcher, Tommy La Stella, and Luis Rengifo added another impressive element to his play this year. He played through injuries and with a rotation of different middle infield counterparts this year and yet that didn’t seem to faze him in the slightest. 

Simmons won two Gold Gloves with the Braves and has earned two more since joining the Angels, so this would be his fifth when it is rewarded to him in the coming days. The list of players with five or more Gold Gloves at shortstop is an elite list and one Simmons deserves to be joining this year. 

13 | Ozzie Smith 

11 | Omar Vizquel 

9 | Luis Aparicio 

8 | Mark Belanger 

5 | Dave Concepcion and Derek Jeter 

Kole Calhoun won the Gold Glove in 2015 and has been a finalist for the award in four additional seasons. Calhoun played more games in right field than any other American League outfielder. He led the league in putouts, double plays turned, and finished third in outfield assists from that position. The diving catches and leaping grabs will be what ultimately earns him this award.  It would be nice to see the likely free agent this winter have that hardware on his resume as he seeks a new team. 

Mike Trout has been a human highlight reel in center field since his rookie season in 2012. That was the first of four seasons in which Trout has been a finalist for the Gold Glove. Each year, he’s lost the award to a more one-dimensional, defensive-minded outfielder, and I would be surprised if this year was any different for the potential AL MVP. 

David Fletcher was the most pleasant surprise among the four Angels to be named a finalist for the Gold Glove award. In his first full season in the majors, Fletcher found third base to be his primary position while still playing a fair amount at second base and shortstop in 2019. The gritty infielder was arguably the second most valuable player on the Angels’ roster last season and is sure to be a key piece of Joe Maddon’s 2020 lineup.  However, El Toro High School’s own Matt Chapman was so incredible with the glove at third this season that he will almost certainly take the hardware. 

Angels This Week 

Joe Maddon was introduced as Angels manager this past Thursday in a press conference on the field at Angel Stadium attended by the media along with former and current Angels players. Bobby Grich, Rod Carew, Garret Anderson, Mike Witt, Chuck Finley, Jim Abbott, and Clyde Wright were some of the former Angels on hand to see Maddon introduced as skipper.  A good portion of the current Angels roster was also on hand to meet their new manager, including Tommy La Stella (who played for Maddon in Chicago.)   

Mike Trout brought home some new hardware this past week. On Wednesday, Trout was named the 2019 Sporting News MLB Player of the Year, capturing 52 percent of the players’ votesMLB awarded Trout the Hank Aaron Award for best offensive player in the league. On Thursday, Trout was named the Players’ Choice Outstanding Player and Marvin Miller Player of the Year, awarded by his peers for his inspirational leadership on the field and in the community. 

It appears Maddon’s coaching staff is beginning to take shape as former New York Mets skipper Mickey Callaway is joining Angels as their pitching coach. Callaway pitched for the Angels during their 2002 and 2003 seasons and was a successful pitching coach with Cleveland Indians staffs from 2013 to 2017. 

The more surprising tidbit is that John Mallee is being hired for a hitting coach positionMaddon previously had Mallee as his hitting coach with the Cubs before replacing him with Chili Davis in that position in 2017. He was recently terminated mid-season by the Phillies. Jeremy Reed, Shawn Wooten, and Paul Sorrento all worked well with Angels hitters last year and their future on Maddon’s staff remains unknown. 

Angels Down on the Farm 

The Arizona Fall League season ended Saturday and several Angels prospects made a great impression in their autumn performance. While Jo Adell received the most attention going into the league, it was two other hitters from the Angels that out-slugged the Angels’ top prospect. 

Brandon Marsh continued to display his sweet swing which has him ranked as the No. 2 Angels prospect by most experts. Marsh led all Angels hitters with a .328 batting average, plus eight extra-base hits, two home runs, and four stolen bases. Marsh set himself up for getting another good look in Arizona this coming spring and likely a starting job in Salt Lake’s Triple-A opening day outfield. 

Jahmai Jones finished his regular-season hitting well for Double-A Mobile and carried that hot bat into his stint with the Mesa Solar Sox. Jones hit .302 with five doubles, two home runs, and seven stolen bases while playing solid defense at second base for Mesa. Jones’s .509 and Marsh’s .522 slugging percentages were greater than Jo Adell’s .444 for the AFL season. 

Adell continued to show scouts and baseball fans alike why he’s destined to make his mark in the Los Angeles Angels line-up soon. Adell hit .273, with eight doubles, three home runs while drawing eleven walks and compiling a .351 on base percentage. Adell will be a candidate for the Angels opening day line-up next spring but will most likely start the year at Triple-A unless Kris Bryant’s current litigation with MLB changes service time rules this off-season. 

Aaron Hernandez started six games for the Mesa Solar Sox and finished the short season with a 2-0 record and a 3.38 ERA while striking out 25 AFL hitters in his 18 2/3 innings of work. The 2018 third-round pick should see time in High-A and Double-A next season and will continue to develop his way into a valuable piece of future Angels rotations. 

Isaac Mattson and Austin Warren continued to display strong upside that they will carry into the Angels 2020 camp as both finished the season with sub-2.00 ERA’s and great strikeout to innings pitched numbers. Mattson’s 1.69 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10 innings just continued to display the impressive performance that saw this 2019 season ascend from High-A to Triple-A. Mattson should get a good look in Tempe in a few months.  Warren’s 1.54 ERA and opponents’ .186 batting average was coupled with 15 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings pitched. Expect to see Warren in a Double-A Trash Pandas uniform at some point in 2020.  


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