TEMPE, Ariz. >> Taylor Ward finished the 2018 time as the Angels day-to-day 3rd baseman, hitting a stroll-off homer to stop the time.
Now, he’s making an attempt to acquire a task as their day-to-day 3rd baseman in 2019, and he picked up proper where by he remaining off.
Ward belted a grand slam on his to start with swing of the Cactus League.
“That’s a very good experience proper there,” Ward reported immediately after his homer put the Angels on the way to a 10-3 victory above the San Francisco Giants in the Cactus League opener on Saturday.
The Angels really don’t have lots of decisions to make with their position player roster this spring, but Ward is squarely in the center of the most major 1.
Ward, 25, is in the jogging with David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo to be 1 of the Angels’ day-to-day infielders. If Ward wins the task, he’ll be the 3rd baseman and Zack Cozart will play second. If Rengifo wins it, he’ll play second and Cozart will play 3rd. If it is Fletcher, they could go both way with Cozart at second and 3rd.
Tommy La Stella is also in the combine, but a lot more probable to stick on the group as a backup.
Ward’s edge is that he has the most electricity, obvious by the 14 homers hit in the minors and six a lot more in the majors last time. In general, he hit .349 with a .977 OPS in the minors, but it didn’t very translate when he received to the major leagues.
Ward hit .178 in the majors above the remaining six months.
“I think I just received absent from technique things and also a number of mechanical matters that I was carrying out in the minor leagues, drill-clever and matters like that, that I didn’t necessarily stick to when I received (to the majors),” Ward reported.
Ward reported he spent most of his winter season refining his hitting, and also performing to be a lot more lean, so he can be quicker and it’s possible even steal a lot more bases.
Protection stays a dilemma for him, but he’s even revealed enhancement in that area.
Transformed from catcher late in spring education last 12 months, Ward is nonetheless understanding the position. He made a very good impact in his to start with match on Saturday, building a awesome backhand play and also coming in to seize a brief-hop and start a double play.
Supervisor Brad Ausmus reported he could inform even by the way Ward was having his to start with step on examine swings that he’s improved.
“I think there’s a consolation factor,” Ausmus reported. “It was brand name new to him last 12 months.”