Matt Thaiss
24-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Los Angeles Angels AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Thaiss reached Triple-A for the first time last season, but his .277/.328/.457 line (good for a 102 wRC+) in 85 games was underwhelming for a first-base prospect. If he were still a catcher like he was in college, those would be promising numbers, but he's played nowhere but first in his professional career. He could possibly provide competent enough performances in a pinch for the Angels this season, but with Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols and Justin Bour already on the roster, it's hard to see Thaiss getting much of a look. Hope for improvement stems mostly from his patience in the batter's box. He walked an impressive 16.7% of the time in a 49-game sample at Double-A in 2017, and while that number cratered with the jump to Triple-A, he's had near-double-digit marks at every other full-season stop. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a contract with the Angels in June of 2016 that includes a $2.15 million signing bonus.
Testing out third base
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
April 17, 2019
Thaiss is starting at third base for Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
The Angels have a logjam at first base and designated hitter with Albert Pujols and Justin Bour -- while Shohei Ohtani (elbow) is also nearing his return -- so Thaiss will attempt to increase his positional versatility. The 23-year-old slashed .372/.413/.674 during his time in major-league camp this spring.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Thaiss
Farm Futures: Stashing Season Is Here
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James Anderson offers his thoughts on Nate Lowe's 2019 upside before listing the top remaining stash candidates, highlighting Marlins righty Zac Gallen.
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110 days ago
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The Z Files: Prepping For the Stretch Run, Part Four
261 days ago
Todd Zola completes his look at players and strategies that can move the needle over the final weeks of the season and wonders if Josh Donaldson will find himself in a new uniform.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
Thaiss is a catcher turned first baseman who turns 23 in May and has hit 15 home runs in 200 pro games. That wouldn't be an encouraging sign if he were a third baseman or corner outfielder, but as a first baseman or designated hitter, the bar is even higher. He walked at a 16.7 percent clip at Double-A last year, which is awesome, but he also posted a .096 ISO at that stop. There is no denying that he projects to get on base at a pretty solid clip, but that might be his only above-average offensive skill. Scouts have put 60s on his hit tool in the past, but his production in full-season ball has not matched that outlook. He is also not a defensive asset, so his glove won't be able to buy his bat developmental time. If he overhauled his swing with an emphasis on lofting the ball more, he could potentially tap into 20-homer power. Even in that optimistic scenario, he would struggle to ever finish as a top-15 fantasy first baseman.
Thaiss was an offensive-minded catcher at Virginia and the Angels thought enough of his bat that they drafted him with the 16th overall pick and immediately transitioned him to first base. Their evaluation appears to have been accurate, as he quickly earned a promotion from the Pioneer League to the Midwest League, posting a 129 wRC+ and 28:22 K:BB in 226 plate appearances against Low-A pitching. Thaiss will not offer light tower power, but he has enough pop to profile as a 25-homer threat in his prime years. A plus hitter who makes excellent contact and showed more of a willingness to work the count after his promotion, Thaiss could be a .300 hitter who walks at a 10 percent clip. That hit tool will be his money maker. If it reaches its plus projection, the game power will play to plus. If his hit tool falls short, he probably won't do enough with the bat to profile as a regular at first base.
More Fantasy News
Heads to minors
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
March 27, 2019
The Angels reassigned Thaiss to minor-league camp Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Knocks two doubles Tuesday
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
February 26, 2019
Thaiss was 2-for-3 with a run scored, two RBI and two doubles during Tuesday's spring win against Oakland.
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Will join big-league camp
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
January 25, 2019
Thaiss earned an invitation to the Angels' major-league camp Friday.
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Returns to lineup over weekend
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
June 18, 2018
Thaiss (personal) was activated from the temporary inactive list at Triple-A Salt Lake and appeared in three games for the club over the weekend, going a combined 1-for-11.
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Hits temporary inactive list
1BLos Angeles Angels  AAA
Personal
June 15, 2018
Thaiss was placed on the temporary inactive list at Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
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