A little over two months have passed since the Angels announced their first-round pick from Florida Atlantic University, a promising first baseman. Surprisingly, within this short span, that very pick, Nolan Schanuel, has stepped onto the MLB stage. While it might appear unconventional for the Angels to usher in Schanuel after just 21 minor league games, a broader strategy could be in play.
According to insights from The Athletic’s Sam Blum and Keith Law, the Angels’ swift decision to elevate Schanuel could be aligned with their future plans. Despite securing CJ Cron in a deadline move, the likelihood of his re-signing with the team remains low. Further complicating matters, the designated assignment of Jared Walsh, initially slated as the future first baseman, has cast uncertainty.
“The Angels are basically out of the playoff picture, and this is a chance to get a good look at Schanuel as they decide whether or not to make him their first baseman for 2024. They drafted him out of a need at that position, not something many teams do with their first-round picks. We’ll see how smart a decision this all is shortly. He was playing in Conference USA two months ago. Now, the major leagues.” (Via The Athletic)
With internal options dwindling, the spotlight turns to Schanuel as a potential solution for the Angels.
Fortuitously, Schanuel appears more than capable of holding his own in the majors. His initial batting performance, going 3-12 at the plate, coupled with flawless fielding, paints an encouraging picture.
Though the sample size remains modest, the Angels’ proactive approach to integrate their first-round selection into the major league fold might be a prudent step. This move not only provides Schanuel valuable experience but also offers the Angels a glimpse of their investment in action.
As speculation swirls, one question lingers: Is Schanuel a key piece in the Angels‘ long-term first baseman puzzle? The swift journey from the minor leagues to the MLB stage raises intriguing possibilities. Keep an eye on this budding talent’s trajectory and its potential impact on the Angels’ future strategy.