Angels’ Luis Rengifo shows encouraging signs amid a disappointing season – Press Telegram

MIAMI – As the Los Angeles season fades, revealing one problem after another, Luis Rengifo is doing his best to prove he’s not one of them.

The 25-year-old outfielder has been teasing angels with his tools for years, but lately he offers reason to believe he may be part of the solution.

In his last 57 plate appearances, Rengifo batted .309 with three homers and a .897 OPS.

That hot stretch raised his season numbers to .241 with an OPS of .685, which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s almost exactly the major league average (.244 and .687) for an average infielder. Against lefties, Rengifo averages .294 and .895 OPS.

Angels third baseman coach Mike Gallego has seen Rengifo’s progress since the Angels acquired him in a spring training session in 2018.

“The main thing is that he plays with a lot more confidence,” said Gallego, who was the farm’s director when Rengifo joined the organization. “This is something we expected, and there are a lot of people in the organization who have stayed behind it.”

Rengifo explained that he was as frustrated as everyone else with his inconsistency.

“I didn’t want to hit .200,” he said. “I set the goal that I have to be better. I’m sorry right now. “

Director Phil Nevin said it starts with Rengifo’s plate discipline, which has improved even since spring training.

“His swing decisions are much better today than in the past,” Nevin said. “He’s doing a lot of punching.”

He is also getting hit in those strikes.

In a team that leads the big leagues in punches, Rengifo has the lowest punch rate (16.6%) among all those with 50 participations on the plate. When he broke a Major League record 20 times on Sunday, Rengifo was the only starter not to hit at least twice. He also hit a home run to provide one of the Angels ’two runs.

“My field selection is better now,” Rengifo said. “I feel so much more comfortable.”

He’s also improving defensively, enough for the Angels to be comfortable enough to have him as a regular whereabouts. He was playing second, but was promoted to Michael Stefanic to play second, which will move Rengifo short.

Gallego, the Los Angeles field coach before becoming a third-base coach, said he believed Rengifo could be a major league shortstop when he first saw him in 2018.

One of his main obstacles has been mental errors, and Gallego said he has been improving, to the point that they now rely on him to nullify analytics when it comes to defensive positioning.

“He’s proud of his positioning,” Gallego said. “He’s the owner. He’s actually communicating. Benji (Gil) and I will look at him, we want him to be in a certain place and he’ll say, ‘I see a different swing.’ I’ll stay right here. And we say, ‘Okay, if you see it , we trust you “.

“That’s what you’re expecting from these guys. And that’s exactly what you’re developing.”

If Rengifo could become an everyday player, it would be the culmination of a journey that has included many peaks and valleys since the Seattle Mariners signed him from Venezuela.

He was traded to the Rays and then to the Angels by CJ Cron in the spring of 2018. Since then, he has switched between Triple-A and seniors, performing inconsistently but always providing reasons for optimism about his talent.

The Dodgers and Cleveland wanted him in exchanges that have failed in recent years.

Angels’ Luis Rengifo shows encouraging signs amid a disappointing season – Press Telegram Source link Angels’ Luis Rengifo shows encouraging signs amid a disappointing season – Press Telegram

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