Angels’ Defense a Bright Spot Through First Two Games.

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Updated: April 5, 2017

Well, we talked about it all Spring Training; the Angels would be fast and play good defense. We’re only two games in, and already the defense is an obvious bright spot. It’s too early to pass any kind of judgement on anything we’ve seen, but we’ve already seen an amazing Kole Calhoun diving catch and Martin Maldonado make quite possibly the best throw I’ve ever seen a catcher make. Kole’s defensive excellence is well documented, but Maldonado is a newcomer. He was touted as having one of the strongest arms in baseball, and that was no joke.

Maldonado’s throw was something special. Here’s the video that does a great job of breaking down how awesome it was. Don’t ignore the perfect tag from Andrelton Simmons, though, who took that amazing throw and put that tag right where it needed to be. Maldonado also threw a laser to pick off a runner at first base as well. Only two games in and we’ve gotten to see how special that arm really is. This team could be truly special defensively, and even Yunel Escobar has made a few solid defensive plays. Getting even average defense from Escobar will go a long way. This pitching staff might struggle at times, so a solid defense is really going to be a huge asset to this team.

Calhoun’s catch was also impressive. We may be used to seeing these kinds of plays from him, but we should never take it for granted. He finds a way to track those hard-hit balls down no matter what. That’s a good thing, because there’s going to be a lot of hard-hit balls this season against the Angels. With Calhoun, Mike Trout, Cameron Maybin, and Ben Revere in the outfield, the Angels are going to boast one of the best defensive outfields in baseball. Pair that with Maldonado and Carlos Perez behind the plate and the double play combo of Simmons and Danny Espinosa, and you’ve got the makings of a very strong defense.

There’s no question the Halos need an identity. It’s been a long time since they’ve had one. Contending teams need to do at least one thing very well. If the Angels can make a strong defense and strong baserunning their calling card, it will be a throwback to shoe old-fashioned Halo contenders. If the bullpen can settle down into their roles and reach its potential, then they’ll truly be a throwback. Teams have gone all the way with a strong bullpen, great defense, and solid baserunning. If the Angels can stay consistently solid in those areas all year, they’ll be in the thick of it all year as well.

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