'A shot in the arm for us': Rengifo's leap huge for Halos

August 10th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger's Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

There’s been no hotter hitter on the Angels than Luis Rengifo going back to late June. 

Rengifo has been as consistent as they come, recording a hit in 34 of his past 40 games. He's batting .321/.350/.481 with four homers, 11 doubles, four stolen bases and 17 RBIs over that span, entering Wednesday. He’s putting himself in a prime spot to be a regular next season, and he said he’s happy his hard work has been paying off. 

“I feel like I have more experience,” Rengifo said. “I talk to the guys a lot and I’ve made some adjustments. I’ve been happy with the results.”  

Rengifo, 25, entered the season as a career .216/.293/.325 hitter in 195 games and opened the year with Triple-A Salt Lake before being promoted to the Majors on May 8. But Rengifo has been a much better hitter this season, batting .270/.310/.410 with six homers, 15 doubles, three triples and 24 RBIs in 77 games.

“He’s been a shot in the arm for us,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “His energy and his work ethic, guys feed off that. You’re seeing him in the cage and putting in the work. You love having him out there. He wasn’t here to start the season but it’s just a credit to him and what he's done. He’s put in the work.” 

Rengifo has also shown some versatility, as he's mostly started at second base but has also seen time at shortstop, third base and both corner outfield spots. With David Fletcher back in the fold after missing nearly three months because of hip surgery, Rengifo has been starting at second with Fletcher at shortstop.  

That combination could continue next season, as Fletcher has looked like his old self since his surgery. He’s batted .324/.343/.588 with two homers, three doubles and 10 RBIs in 10 games upon returning on July 28.

Rengifo, though, knows nothing is promised going forward and said he’s just trying to keep it going the rest of the season. 

“I feel comfortable,” Rengifo said. “I’m just going up there and trying to stay focused every time I take my at-bats. And just try to help my team.”