Jared is from Lawrenceville, GA, and attended Peachtree Ridge High School. After high school, he attended the University of Georgia.
In 2014, Jared was suspended for the first 9 games due to a violation of team rules.
Walsh's favorite pro team is the Pittsburgh Pirates, and his favorite athlete is Hines Ward (who also attended UGA).
Jared's favorite movie is Goodfellas due to his interest in mafia.
- June 2015: Walsh was the Angels' 39th-round pick, out of the Univ. of Georgia, signing with scout Todd Hogan. Jared was a senior sign and only got a $3,000 bonus.
- The Angels began experimenting with Walsh on the mound. And in 2018, he posted a 1.59 ERA in eight appearances.
In 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Walsh as the 14th-best prospect in the Angels' organization. And he was at #21 in the spring of 2020.
2019 Spring Training: Walsh, a budding two-way prospect in his first big league camp, knows early spring training results can be deceiving, so he didn’t put much stock in the fact he retired the first nine batters he faced in exhibition play.
“I think I had some pretty good fortune,” Walsh said of his first three Cactus League appearances. “I definitely missed over the middle with a few more pitches than I would have liked.”
MLB debut (May 15, 2019): The Angels broke the mold with Shohei Ohtani serving as a two-way player in 2018 en route to winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. And they added another two-way player as they selected the contract of first baseman/reliever Jared Walsh from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Jared made his Major League debut at first base and hit eighth against Minnesota. Walsh went 3-for-5 with three singles in the Angels' 8-7 loss to the Twins.
"Pretty exciting," Walsh said. "Pretty much everything I hoped it would be. Got really close to getting a 'W' there. It was fun. Looking forward to the next one."
Walsh, though, shrugged off any comparisons to Ohtani, as Ohtani is a starting pitcher and Walsh has only been pitching professionally as a left-handed reliever since 2018. "I don't really put us in the same conversation,” Walsh said. “I'm just a guy trying to pitch and he's a front-line ace—and a No. 4 hitter. I just want to be a player who brings value to the team. I don't really think of it that way." (Bollinger - mlb.com)
June 29, 2019: The Angels recalled two-way player Jared Walsh from Triple-A Salt Lake. Walsh, ranked as the club's No. 18 prospect by MLB Pipeline, gives the Angels three first basemen on their roster, as he joins Albert Pujols and Justin Bour.
But Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he considers Walsh to be a reliever as well, giving the Angels some flexibility. Walsh, 25, hit .250/.294/.313 with two doubles and two RBIs as a first baseman with the Angels earlier this year, and also gave up one run in two innings in two appearances as a reliever.
“We don’t necessarily have to have an arm in the bullpen, because we have some length in the bullpen with [Trevor] Cahill,” Ausmus said. “It gives us options. If we need him as an arm, he’s done two innings at Salt Lake.”
Walsh is having a solid year at Triple-A, hitting .310/.419/.586 with 13 homers, 17 doubles and 33 RBIs in 54 games. He's also made seven pitching appearances, posting a 3.86 ERA with five strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
2019 season: Not only did Walsh hit .325/.423/.686 in Triple-A, leading all hitters at that level in SLG and OPS and finishing third in the Minors with 36 homers. He also made 13 appearances in Triple-A (and four more in the big leagues) as a left-handed reliever. He also was named the Angels MLB Pipeline Hitter of the Year. (Editor's note: As of March 2022, those 4 appearances as a pitcher are his only games pitched in MLB so far.)
2020 Season: There weren’t a whole lot of bright spots for the Angels in 2020. However, one of the biggest was seeing the development of their rookie, Jared Walsh. Though he appeared in only 32 games, Walsh finished seventh in Rookie of the Year voting in the American League. Had he played a handful of more games, he potentially could have made a case to finish first.
Walsh appeared in 31 games for the Halos in 2019 and struggled greatly. He barely hit above .200 and hit only one homer in 87 plate appearances. Fast forward a year, and he was fantastic for them. He appeared in 32 games, finishing with an OPS of just under 1.000 and nine home runs with 26 runs driven in.
Here’s where Walsh finished in regard to AL rookies with at least 32 games played: 9 home runs (3rd), 26 RBI (3rd), .970 OPS (1st), 646 SLG (1st). Had he not missed most of August, he likely takes home ROY honors.
Walsh began the season with the club, but was optioned to the alternate site on August 3. He was there for the majority of August, as he wasn’t recalled until August 28. It was at this point in which Walsh went on an absolute tear, and was one of the best hitters in all of the American League.
At the time of him getting optioned, Walsh was 0-for-10 on the year, not ideal. Through the first three games he returned, he went 0-for-3, extending his streak to begin the season to 13 consecutive at bats without a hit. Then, on September 2, everything began to click. Walsh appeared in 22 games for the month, and posted some incredible numbers.
He hit .337/.368/.744/1.113 with nine homers and 26 runs driven in. Remember all the stats I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they all came in the month of September. Not only was he the best rookie, he was arguably the best hitter in all the American League. His production didn’t go unnoticed, as he was named the AL Rookie of the Month.
Walsh had an eight-game run from September 6 through the 16 where he hit .471 with an OPS of above 1.600 while adding six homers and 15 RBI. During this incredible run, Walsh hit a home run in four consecutive games, including a walk-off blast.
“I’ve been more comfortable with more opportunities,” Walsh said to the media postgame when asked about his recent success. “It’s been pretty exciting. I want to savor this moment. I think it’s something I’m going to hold onto a long time and cherish.”
The Angels have something special in Walsh, they know that. With an already loaded lineup, if Walsh can build off what he did in 2020, he could be the kind of bat to give the Angels the best lineup in all of the American League. (BlakeHarris@BlakeHarrisTBLA - Nov 24, 2020)
July 2021: Walsh was chosen as a reserve first baseman for the All-Star Game.
- 2021 Season: Jared Walsh was one of a few Angels who actually stayed healthy, playing in 144 games this season.
Walsh hit .277/.340/.509 (.850 OPS) with 29 tanks and 98 RBI. Those are solid offensive numbers and his range over at first base makes him one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball.
He’s got wheels for a first baseman too. Walsh has now had consecutive really good seasons. We didn’t get to see a ton of him last year, as he only played in 32 games. This year we finally got an extended look at him and there was so much to like.
He had a 127 wRC+, and his fWAR (2.8) was third on the Angels among position players.
He also is a good defensive player in the outfield, showcasing his versatility in the field. That’s actually where he played in the All-Star Game.
Walsh was one of the only guys this year who protected Ohtani, and he’s going to be important for this team moving forward. (Evan Desai - Oct. 19, 2021)
|Home:||N/A||Team:||ANGELS - IL|
|Birth City:||Brookfield, WI|
|Draft:||Angels #39 - 2015 - Out of Univ. of Georgia|
In 2018, Walsh leveled out the uppercut in his swing and now has a more consistent bat path to the ball. Suddenly, Jared tapped into some 55 grade power. And his lefthanded power is to all fields.
Walsh still takes a rip at balls he shouldn't, but he can turn around big velocity. (Spring, 2019)
When Walsh connects, he hits the ball hard. But therein lies the problem as he also has huge holes in his swing that was exploited when he got to the majors. (Spring 2020)
Jared has a big strong athletic build, mature look. He has a good looking swing, extends through contact, has the strength to drive the ball, ball comes off hard.
“There were flashes that would suggest he could hit some homers if he was healthy and playing every day,” Angels minor league field coordinator Chad Tracy said in 2018, “and I’m sure he’s starting to master the level a bit.
“He’s also drawing walks, getting on base—and he can drive the ball out the other way. When you start seeing guys leave the park in the opposite direction, that’s a unique characteristic.”
2019 Season: Walsh got to show off his ability as a two-way player in the Minors, which earned him the opportunity to put those skills on display in the Major Leagues as well. He hit .325 with a .686 slugging percentage for Triple-A Salt Lake in 98 games, all while also posting a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings pitched at the level.
Sept. 17, 2020: Walsh became the first rookie with both an RBI and a run scored in nine consecutive games since the RBI became a stat in 1920, per Stats Perform. Additionally, he’s the first American League player to accomplish the feat since David Ortiz did it for the Twins in 2002.
Only four players in history have had longer streaks: Rudy York (12, 1940 Tigers), Bobby Abreu (10, 2005 Phillies) and Hall of Famers Ted Williams (11, 1950 Red Sox) and Lou Gehrig (10, 1930 Yankees). He's only the eighth player in AL history to post a nine-game hit streak along with an RBI and a run scored in each game, joining York, Williams, Gehrig, Ortiz, Don Mattingly, Rocky Colavito and Joe DiMaggio.
September 2020: Walsh was named the AL Rookie of the Month.
It was a breakout month for the 27-year-old Walsh, who was recalled from the Angels’ alternate training site on Aug. 28. Up to that point, the former 39th-rounder had a career line of only .180/.247/.292 with one homer in 97 Major League plate appearances. Walsh then proceeded to post a .337/.368/.744 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBIs over 22 September games, perhaps solidifying him as the Angels’ first baseman of the future.
Over the course of the month, Walsh tied for second among all AL hitters in homers and RBIs, and his 1.113 OPS trailed only AL MVP candidate José Ramírez among those with at least 70 plate appearances. Included in the outburst was a 14-game hitting streak (Sept. 6-22), as well as a 10-game streak in which Walsh drove in at least one run (Sept. 6-18), which was the longest by an MLB player in 2020.
Angels manager Joe Maddon was impressed with Walsh in 2020, especially after Jared hit a 450-foot grand slam to center field to break open an 8-5 win against the Rangers on Sept. 21.
“He’s that good. His hands are that strong, and the way he starts the bat . . . he hit (36 homers) in Triple-A last year, so he knows how to do that. When he sees his pitch, he’s not missing.”
And some of the mechanical adjustments suggested by hitting coaches and all-star teammates Pujols, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon began kicking in.
Walsh replaced his high leg kick with a toe tap. Instead of wiggling his bat behind his head and dropping his hands nearly to his waist as he loaded his swing, Walsh adopted a more quiet pre-swing setup, his hands rarely straying too far from his left shoulder.
The tinkering created a smoother path to the ball and allowed Walsh to square up balls more consistently.
“Last year (in 2019), I had a lot going on,” Walsh said. “It worked sometimes, but it wasn’t consistent enough. There were some timing issues that I wanted to address. As hitters, we build habits, good and bad. For me, it was trying to be more direct to the ball, a little more efficient.” (Mike DiGiovanna - Baseball America- Nov. 2020)
In 2020, Walsh had a breakout rookie year, but now it’s up to him to prove that it was no fluke and that he can do it over the course of 162 games.
Walsh, 27, comes from an atypical background as a 39th-round Draft pick in 2015. But he’s proved his doubters wrong along the way with strong Minor League numbers that finally translated to the Major League level last year. On the strength of a torrid stretch in September, Walsh batted .293/.324/.646 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 32 games, finishing seventh in balloting for AL Rookie of the Year.
That success earned Walsh the primary first baseman job heading into this season—ahead of Albert Pujols. And he’s eager to build off of his impressive rookie campaign.
“It was definitely one of the more locked-in times I’ve ever felt, so hopefully I’ll be able to recreate [that] again this summer,” Walsh said via Zoom. “I just try not to get too high or too low. I’ve had times where I’ve struggled and thought, ‘Is this it? Am I done?’ And times where I’ve had good ABs and felt like Ted Williams. So I just want to stay in the middle because baseball is humbling.”
Despite being a late-round Draft pick, Walsh thrived in the Minors, batting a combined .301/.375/.538 in 462 games, including hitting .307/.396/.620 with 44 homers, 43 doubles and 123 RBIs in 145 games at Triple-A Salt Lake.
But numbers can be inflated at Salt Lake given the altitude and the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, so Walsh had to earn his playing time in the Majors. He was also late to camp last year after testing positive for COVID-19 and was 0-for-13 at the plate in 10 games through Aug. 31. But then he had one of the best months by a rookie in club history, batting .337 with 15 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs in 22 games, earning AL Rookie of the Month honors.
Walsh said that he worked hard in the offseason to try to bottle that up by keeping the mechanics of his swing sound, while also emphasizing pitch recognition and plate discipline.
“I talked to the hitting coaches often this offseason and it was just about understanding what I did and what adjustments I made to get some pitches that I hadn’t prior,” Walsh said. “I watched a lot of video. So I feel like I’m in a pretty good place right now and I’m excited.” Angels manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that Walsh’s success came in a small sample size, but he liked the way the left-handed hitter controlled the zone and showcased his raw power. He mostly hit Walsh second in the lineup ahead of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. And that could again be the case in 2021.
But either way, Walsh figures to be in a critical spot in the order and will get most of the starts against right-handed pitching, while Pujols will serve as his backup and likely see most of his time at first base when there’s a lefty on the mound.
“It’s hard to just put stock in one month,” Maddon said. “But I also believe if he had three or four more months, he really would have made some noise like with the Rookie of the Year and that kind of stuff. I know he has that kind of ability. I know it was for only one month, but look what he did at Triple-A and his Minor League seasons.”
Pujols was also happy to see Walsh fare so well last year and insists that he has no hard feelings about Walsh being the regular first baseman in Pujols’ final year of his 10-year contract.
“I hope he tears it up because it would help this organization win,” Pujols said. “I’m not competing with Jared Walsh. I’m not competing with anybody. My job is to help this organization win. There’s no selfishness here, and if there’s somebody that feels like, they shouldn’t be in our organization because that’s not how you build a championship roster.” (R Bollinger - MLB.com - March 2, 2021)
- June 11, 2022: Walsh continued one of the wildest spans in franchise history by hitting for the cycle as the Halos rolled to an 11-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night. It was the ninth cycle in franchise history and the first since Shohei Ohtani in 2019.
Walsh went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs. He completed the cycle with a two-run triple in the eighth inning after Mets center fielder Khalil Lee failed to make a diving catch.
Jared is smooth around the first base bag, displaying plus hands and instincts. He has excellent footwork.
- Walsh plays first base and right field.
- Jared is only a 40 grade runner.
April 4-May 2017: Walsh suffered a lower-back injury in the fourth game that sidelined him for six weeks.
- July 27-Aug 11, 2021: Walsh was on the IL with right intercostal strain.
- Aug. 25, 2022: Walsh was placed on the 10-day injured list due to thoracic outlet syndrome on his left side.