Fletcher making case to rejoin Angels at Triple-A

June 4th, 2023

HOUSTON -- Following a bit of a slow start after surprisingly being outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake in mid-April, infielder has found his groove and has started to look like his old self.

Fletcher, 29, has slashed .336/.401/.386 with five doubles and 20 RBIs in 34 games with Salt Lake, including batting .371 in 22 games in May after hitting .207 in 10 games in April. He also remains a premium defender up the middle, so he’s on the Angels’ radar, although he’s no longer on the 40-man roster.

“He’s been doing well,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Obviously, we know what he can do defensively. And offensively, he’s putting the ball in play, and he’s right around the Fletch we’ve always seen. There’s a lot of good things he’s doing there, and the coaching staff says he’s been a great teammate and has done what he’s needed to do.”

But Nevin was noncommittal about Fletcher’s immediate future. The Angels currently have rookie Livan Soto on the roster as their backup infielder, but he had a rough game defensively on Saturday. Fletcher remains under contract through 2025 after signing a five-year deal worth $26 million before the 2021 season.

“Where that puts him, I can’t tell you,” Nevin said. “But I know he’s going about it the right way.”

Double-A Rocket City: RHP Kenyon Yovan
Yovan, 25, isn’t ranked among the club’s Top 30 Prospects, but he is off to a dominant start to the season in relief, posting a 0.41 ERA with 20 strikeouts and six walks in 22 innings. He's an interesting story, as he was taken in the 27th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Oregon and initially was a first baseman in the Minors before being converted to relief last year. He has excelled in that role, registering a 1.06 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings over the past two seasons. Given how aggressive the Angels are with their Minor Leaguers, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Yovan up at some point this season.

High-A Tri-City: 2B/SS Adrian Placencia
Placencia, ranked as the club’s No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, has continued his hot streak since his slow start and has batted .314/.429/.657 with three homers, three doubles and 11 RBIs over his past nine games. He has also struck out 10 times and walked seven over that span. He has mostly been playing second base recently, but he can play both positions up the middle. Overall, he's slashing .227/.367/.390 with five homers, eight doubles and 23 RBIs in 43 games.

Single-A Inland Empire: RHP Alan Carter
Like Yovan, Carter, 25, isn’t ranked among the club’s Top 30 Prospects, but he also comes from an interesting background and has fared well in relief this year, posting a 2.20 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. Carter was signed to a Minor League contract on Jan. 30 after he impressed in a showcase after being undrafted out of Lee University. He also participated in the World Baseball Classic, representing Team China. He has elite stuff and will need to continue to prove himself as he moves up the ladder.