According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Los Angeles Angels have landed a deal with first baseman Justin Bour. The deal is still pending a physical, but it is expected to be a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
#Angels are in agreement with Justin Bour.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 13, 2018
At that price, Bour is certainly a steal for the Angels. The 30-year slugger old is a solid ballplayer, with tons of power potential. In three of the past four seasons, he has launched at least 20 home runs.
A Look at Bour’s Career
Bour spent all five years of his big league career with the Miami Marlins. In 2015, he broke into the league in a huge way as he finished fifth in National League Rookie of the year voting. Bour finished that year hitting .262/.321/.479 with a .800 OPS, 20 doubles, 23 home runs, and 73 RBI’s.
In each of the next two seasons, he increased his OPS+ and OPS. Bour smacked 15 home runs in 2016, but his OPS+ increased to 124 and he posted an OPS of .824. He followed that up with a career year in 2017. He posted career-highs with 109 hits, 25 home runs, an OPS+ of 143, an OPS of .902, and a slash line of .289/.366/.536. Bour really established himself as one of the big power bats in the middle of the Marlins lineup.
Last season on a depleted Marlins club, Bour had a terrible year. In 112 games, he hit just 19 home runs, 11 doubles, and his OPS was lowed to .759. He was then shipped across the NL East to the Phillies. He struggled as well, and in 29 games he hit just one home run and posted just a .643 OPS. In total in 2018, he struck out a career high 124 times, but also walked a career high 73 times.
What Bour Brings to the Angels
Bour figures to to jump into a platoon with veteran first baseman Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani. He will likely see most playing time against righties, as he has tremendous numbers against them in his career. In fact, in 1,248 career plate appearances against right-handed pitching, Bour carries a .271/.355/.500 slash line. Bour is certainly an interesting low cost/high reward addition for the Angels. It will be interesting to see if he can bounce back in 2019.