The Angels have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick, per the team’s transaction log at MLB.com. Presumably, the Equity Baseball client will be in camp on as a non-roster invite in spring training.
Marisnick, 33 in March, split the 2023 season between the White Sox, Tigers and Dodgers. Though he appeared in 46 games between the three teams, he was often used as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner, evidenced by the fact that he tallied just 83 big league plate appearances on the year. Marisnick slashed .237/.280/.408 in that tiny sample — numbers that roughly align with his career .228/.281/.385 batting line (2247 plate appearances).
While he’s never been much of a threat at the plate, the fleet-footed Marisnick is one of the most talented and underrated defenders of the current generation. He’s logged more than 400 innings in both outfield corners in his career and racked up nearly 4500 innings in center field, posting plus defensive grades at each spot. Marisnick has been credited with a massive 80 Defensive Runs Saved and 53 Outs Above Average across the outfield (including 54 DRS and 40 OAA in center field). Since making his MLB debut in 2013, Marisnick ranks eighth among all MLB outfielders in DRS and 12th in OAA, despite generally being used as a part-time player.
Marisnick’s 2023 sprint speed still ranked in the 87th percentile of MLB players, per Statcast, while his arm strength clocked into the 86th percentile. He clearly still has the tools to serve as a plus defender in the outfield, and with Mike Trout becoming increasingly susceptible to stints on the injured list in recent years, having an elite defensive fallback option makes some sense.
Between Trout, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak and the out-of-options Jo Adell, the Angels have at least four outfield options ahead of Marisnick on the depth chart already. That might make it difficult for him to make the Opening Day roster, but Marisnick could step up in the event of an injury or trade of someone like Adell, and he has a decent enough track record against left-handed pitching (.237/.293/.417) to be a viable platoon partner for Moniak in a pinch.