The Los Angeles Angels saw three different players suit up at third base in 2013. None of them excelled at the plate, while all three men ranked towards the bottom of the team in defensive fielding percentage. Obviously, it is a position that must be addressed, and the good news is the No. 1 prospect in the Angles’ farm system just so happens to be a third baseman.
Many hoped that Kaleb Cowart would explode in Double-A last season and show the organization that he is capable of making the leap to the big leagues. Nobody expected him to be outfielder Mike Trout or shortstop Jean Segura, who was regrettably traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012, but the Angels certainly wanted to see some sort of indication that he was ready.
Unfortunately, it did not work out that way as he posted a .221 batting average, six home runs, 42 RBI, 20 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 498 at-bats.
The numbers indicated that he was not ready for a September call-up, which certainly made the organization think twice about what they will do at third base. It is a bad situation to be in because the Angels were not pleased with the production that Luis Jimenez, Alberto Callaspo and Chris Nelson provided them. However, it appears Jimenez, Nelson and Andrew Romine will be the ones competing to be the starting third baseman.
As much as I want to believe Cowart will get an invite to Spring Training, I just do not see it happening. Since he still needs some work in the minors, Los Angeles does not see the point in giving him time in the spring if he is not ready to be the starter.
I do believe Cowart will get called up in 2014. In fact, do not be surprised if he is starting at third base at some point next season. If he can show improvement in the minors right out of the gate then it will be sooner than expected.