Hinshaw Has Hope In LF Spot

ANAHEIM—As good a defensive center fielder as Chad Hinshaw has become in three years in the Angels’ system, he has no future there with the club that drafted him in the 15th round out of Illinois State in 2013.

The Angels are set in center, at least through 2020, with Mike Trout, who’s a full year younger than Hinshaw, 25. But there could be a crack in the front door of the Angels lineup, and it may provide Hinshaw’s only hope at becoming a big league regular.

Probable 2016 leadoff man Yunel Escobar is only signed through this season with an option for 2017.

Assuming Hinshaw, who can play both corner spots, advances to Triple-A Salt Lake, a strong season there could position him for a reserve outfield spot or possibly the starting left-field job by 2017 or 2018.

“From his ability to get on base to his base-stealing ability, he’s definitely a guy who can hit at top of the order,” said Mike LaCassa, the team’s director of minor league operations. “He’s always had a high walk rate and an OBP over .300. He’s a very patient hitter who understands the value of getting on base.”

He slashed .258/.412/.281 with nine stolen bases in 10 attempts at Rookie-level Orem in 2013. He split 2014 between low Class A Burlington and high Class A Inland Empire, slashing .270/.365/.477 with 16 homers and 41 stolen bases in 56 attempts in 124 games.

A torn-thumb ligament sidelined the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hinshaw for 10 weeks and sapped his power in 2015, when he slashed .289/.391/.365 in 71 games at Double-A Arkansas. But he had a solid 12-game Arizona Fall League stint, slashing .349/.397/.508.

Hinshaw has also earned high marks for his makeup.

“He gives it his all every day, and you can see it in the way he plays center field and runs the bases,” LaCassa said. “He plays hard, he takes the extra base on the basepaths and takes bases away from you in the field.”


• The Angels acquired corner infielder Jefry Marte, who hit four homers in 80 at-big-league at-bats last season, from the Tigers for second baseman Kody Eaves, who has not played higher than the Class A level in four seasons.

• Righthander Yunesky Maya and lefthander Jose Molina and shortstop Anthony Phillips signed minor league deals with the Angels.

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