The Los Angeles Angels called up top prospect Brandon Marsh to start against the Seattle Mariners this afternoon. The 23-year-old was the Angels second-round pick in 2016. He was a two-sport star whose athleticism truly shined once he focused full-time on baseball. Marsh will start in center field and bat seventh. Marsh has been limited to 28 games this season due to a shoulder injury. Yet, he has been on fire since the beginning of July. He’s played twelve games split between the Arizona Complex League Angels and the Salt Lake City Bees, slashing .382/.417/.735/1.152. The Angels called up Brandon Marsh because all three opening day outfielders are currently on the injured list: Mike Trout (calf strain), Justin Upton (lower back strain), and Dexter Fowler (ACL tear). Adam Eaton was also signed recently to help improve the outfield depth.
Brandon Marsh Era Begins
How good is Brandon Marsh? Well, he’s the 38th ranked prospect in all of baseball. So rehab assignments tend to go quite well for him. Angels fans can expect incredible defense from the youngster, something sorely lacking with natural infielders playing in the outfield. Nearly every defensive metric has the Angels in the bottom five. And, the outfield is certainly the main culprit. Marsh cannot save them on his own, but he will be a huge improvement at whichever outfield spot he plays. Offensively, Marsh’s speed and strong on-base skills will surely increase RBI opportunities lower in the batting order. Many believe Marsh’s size will allow for him to develop above-average power as he matures, but his current power is mostly seen in doubles and triples.
Angels fans and sportswriters are sure to question why the Angels called up Marsh and not former top prospect Jo Adell. Adell has shown off his amazing power this season in Triple-A, but he continues to struggle with strikeouts. After his disastrous introduction to the big leagues in 2020, the Angels are being cautious with Adell’s development this season. Defensively, if the Angels are looking for someone who can excel at all three outfield positions, then Marsh is definitely the right choice. Short term, this seems to indicate that the club feels Marsh is further along in his development. Long term it might not matter as Justin Upton’s contract only runs through 2022. Either way, the Angels called up Brandon Marsh not to look to the future but to improve the current club.
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