The Los Angeles Angels made a surprising move on Monday, calling up their first-round pick from the 2022 MLB Draft, Zach Neto, and inserting him into the starting lineup as the shortstop.
Neto, who was drafted out of Florida State University, signed a $6.5 million bonus with the Angels in July and reported to their rookie-level affiliate in Orem, Utah.
He played only 15 games there, hitting .327 with four home runs and 12 RBIs, before getting promoted to Double-A Rocket City.
Neto impressed the Angels’ brass with his advanced approach at the plate, his smooth defense at shortstop, and his leadership skills on and off the field.
He was named the Southern League Player of the Month for August after batting .368 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 25 games. He also drew 16 walks and stole seven bases, showing a combination of patience and speed that made him a dynamic offensive threat.
The Angels decided to give Neto a chance in the majors after their regular shortstop, David Fletcher, suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday that will sideline him for at least two weeks.
With the Angels out of playoff contention, they saw an opportunity to evaluate Neto at the highest level and see how he handles the challenge. Neto will wear number 22 and bat ninth in his debut against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.
Neto said he was shocked and excited when he got the call from Angels general manager Perry Minasian on Sunday night. He flew to Los Angeles on Monday morning and met his new teammates in the clubhouse.
He said he was looking forward to playing with stars like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon, and learning from them as much as possible.
“I’m just grateful for this opportunity and I’m ready to go out there and compete,” Neto said. “This has been my dream since I was a kid and I can’t believe it’s happening.
I’m going to play hard every day and try to help this team win.”.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said he was impressed by Neto’s maturity and confidence, and praised his skills on both sides of the ball. He said he wanted to give Neto a chance to play every day and see how he adjusts to the big-league pitching.
He also said he expected Neto to make some mistakes along the way, but that he would learn from them and grow as a player.
“Zach is a special talent and a special person,” Maddon said. “He has all the tools to be a star in this league and we’re excited to see what he can do.
He’s not here to just sit on the bench and watch. He’s here to play and contribute. He’s earned this opportunity and we’re going to give him every chance to succeed.”.
Final Thoughts: Zach Neto Gets a Chance to Shine with the Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels’ decision to call up their first-round pick from the 2022 MLB Draft, Zach Neto, and insert him into the starting lineup as the shortstop is a bold move that could pay off big for the team.
Neto’s impressive performance in the minors, combined with his advanced approach at the plate, smooth defense at shortstop, and leadership skills on and off the field, make him a dynamic player with great potential.
The Angels’ decision to call up Neto comes at a time when they are out of playoff contention and looking to evaluate their young talent. With regular shortstop David Fletcher sidelined by a hamstring injury, the team saw an opportunity to give Neto a chance to shine at the highest level and see how he handles the challenge.
Neto’s positive attitude, maturity, and confidence are all assets that will serve him well as he makes his debut with the Angels. He has expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity and is eager to play hard every day and contribute to the team’s success.
While there may be some bumps in the road as Neto adjusts to the big-league pitching and faces more challenging opponents, he has the talent and determination to succeed.
With stars like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon to learn from, Neto has an opportunity to grow and develop into a star player in his own right.
Overall, the Angels’ decision to call up Neto is an exciting one that could have a positive impact on the team’s future. It shows a willingness to take risks and invest in young talent, which is essential for building a successful team in the long run.
As Neto makes his debut and begins his journey in the majors, fans and analysts alike will be watching closely to see how he performs and how he contributes to the team’s success.