Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Jared Walsh started off his major league career relatively flat. In 2019, he finished with a .203 AVG but only played in 31 games with the Angels so the sample size was rather limited. And we all know about the shortened 2020 season so he played nearly the same amount of games last year too, 32 games. He did perform much better after a breakthrough September which helped him finish the year with a .293 AVG and 9 HR.
Walsh misses out on crucial playing time for ROY votes
Because of his rather limited playing time, even in a shortened season, he did not garner many Rookie of the Year votes which is a shame because he put up some great numbers. This year he obviously won’t qualify for Rookie of the Year since he qualified last year when he finished in 7th place. But maybe he has his eyes set on a bigger prize?
Walsh has played in 38 games so far in 2021 and he is picking up right where he left off in 2020. In fact, he’s actually doing better. He is currently batting with a .343 AVG and has 7 HR. Most notably, he hit 2 of his 7 HR on the first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year. He hit a solo shot before hitting a game winning 3 run HR in the bottom of the 9th.
Walsh’s heroics overshadowed
You would think that this was enough to make a name for himself but it weirdly wasn’t. In fact, his performance that day seemed to carry over like a mere footnote of other events that happened that day. I would know, I was fortunate enough to be there that day. The focus leading up to that day was Ohtani’s scheduled start and the Angels’ decision to forgo their DH spot which hadn’t been done since 1976.
Ohtani pitched well but more notably, he threw a pitch over 100 mph and hit a ball over 100 mph which also happened to be a home run. To put the cherry at the top, Ohtani was taken out of the game after a collision at the plate on a freak play that tied the game. Either way it was apparent that Maddon was going to take him out but the question of whether he had an injury also clouded Walsh’s heroics. Even we are to blame in this since we’ve covered headlined Ohtani’s name more than any other player this year.
Big 3 in Anaheim: Trout, Ohtani, Walsh
Walsh is putting MVP-like numbers so far in the 2021 season. He seems a lock for the 2021 All Star Game. So why aren’t people recognizing his talent? Why is he not getting more hype Like Yermin Mercedes of early MVP candidates? Well he’s in the lineup with perennial MVP Mike Trout and the weirdest talent that baseball has seen in a long time, Shohei Ohtani.
I’m hopeful that Walsh will get the recognition he deserves and that he will perform even better as he gets more experience. But its hard to get any kind of spotlight when you’re placed between two supernovas. Won’t it be something if the Angels can finish 1, 2, 3 for the MVP race but still fail to make the playoffs? Not likely, but would be incredible. With this much talent in the on the field, it would be a crime not to trade for pitching in the coming months… or weeks at this point.