Matt Angle, 26, was a fantastic collegiate player while at The Ohio State University. And similarly to former teammate and current Houston Astro outfielder J.B. Shuck, Angle’s overall skills have translated to the professional game fairly well.
His plus-speed has allowed him to swipe at least 29 bases in each of his first five professional seasons despite the fact that he’s averaged barely 100 games per year while in minors. He shows a slightly above-average eye at the plate, good contact rates, and by all accounts is a solid defensive outfielder. His complete lack of power, however, will ultimately cap his ceiling as a backup outfielder, just as it will Shuck’s.
Angle, a former seventh round draft pick, has methodically climbed his way up the minor league ladder. He began his professional career in low-A, Aberdeen, and hit .301/.421/.352 while showing a polished base-stealing ability (34 SB in 38 attempts). He was promoted to A-ball in 2008, where he remained the entire season. Both his walk and strikeout rates trended in the wrong directions slightly, but he did show a slight improvement in power (.092 ISO). He was bumped up to High-A the next season, 2009, where his numbers remained remarkably consistent (.289/.370/.347), and after a brief appearance in Double-A to close out the season and open 2010, he was promoted to Triple-A. And during his nearly two complete seasons in the International League he’s hit a combined .266/.343/.326.
He also made a brief, listless 31-game stint in Baltimore (.177/.293/.266) last season as well.
His overall skill set is similar to that of Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner: good speed, solid eye, above-average defense, and little power. But what separates Gardner from Angle is that the former’s bat continued to take large developmental steps after the age of 24, and Angle’s has not; his has simply regressed.
Right now, Angle’s more of a fifth outfielder with a peak value between a 1.0 and 1.5 WAR player, depending on the position. Obviously, his defense would be a plus in left field and only solid in center.
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