Scottsdale, Arizona —— Matt Thaiss can hit, and he proved it in 2017 just as he did across a stellar college career at the University of Virginia. The Los Angeles Angels first base prospect slashed a combined .274/.375/.395/.770 for High-A Inland Empire and Double-A Mobile during the summer, getting 514 at-bats and notably putting up 77 walks against 106 strikeouts while also posting 27 doubles and nine home runs. And now, the former UVA catcher — who is one of the Angels’ top prospects entering 2018 — is out at the Arizona Fall League playing first base this offseason for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
We tracked Thaiss down for an on-camera interview out here in Scottsdale, and Baseball Census on-air host Sande Charles picked the first baseman’s brain about hitting, making adjustments at the plate, battling good pitches at AFL, adjusting to his new defensive home, and more. She also asked him what it’s like to be a high profile Los Angeles Angels prospect from New Jersey… almost as if there may have been one of those Jersey boys coming through the system a few years before Matt Thaiss, too?
Watch the full interview below, and please subscribe to the Baseball Census YouTube channel for dozens more prospect interviews just like this one:
After making such a successful transition to Double-A in 2017 (Thaiss hit .292/.412/.388/.799 in 49 games with Mobile to finish the summer), it seems almost a sure thing that he’ll begin 2018 at Triple-A Salt Lake, with the big leagues not far behind. Though he seems to lack significant over-the-fence pop, Thaiss is a true professional hitter and could have a significant big league impact for the Los Angeles Angels over the next few years as he adjusts to baseball in Anaheim.
We’ll have many more and far deeper thoughts on Thaiss and how the Los Angeles Angels may use him in the big leagues coming later on this winter with a full in-depth scouting report on the prospect. For now, we hope you enjoyed the video interview — and you can also look forward to game video coming soon of a few dozen of his at-bats from taken across the Arizona Fall League season.
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