Fletcher is expected to play "just about any position except first base and catcher" this season, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Fletcher played all or part of at least 20 games at four different positions last season, often making in-game defensive position switches. He logged the most time at third base and second base, though his playing time at those spots is likely to be cut down dramatically this season with the signing of Anthony Rendon and the return to health of Tommy La Stella. While Fletcher did not see time in center field in 2019, he played the position for the first time in spring training and could make some appearances there in 2020 if needed. Per Bollinger, Angels manager Joe Maddon views Fletcher as "a Ben Zobrist-type player who can play in both the infield and outfield without any issues." That should enable Maddon to get Fletcher's bat -- and elite contact skills --into the lineup on a near-everyday basis.
Fletcher played center field "for the first time in his life" Monday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports. Fletcher has been getting reps in the outfield with the hope that expanding his defensive versatility will better allow the Angels to get his bat into the lineup. Fletcher ranked among baseball's best contact hitters last season, but the acquisition of Anthony Rendon and return of Tommy La Stella figure to significantly cut down the playing time he sees as an infielder in 2020.
Fletcher could experience increased playing time in right field this season according to Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register. With the Angels' offseason addition of Anthony Rendon and the return of Tommy La Stella, it is likely that Fletcher will be required to play the outfield more often. "The challenge is that I like Fletcher on the field as much as possible. The fact that David is versatile to play different positions is going to matter," said manager Joe Maddon. Right fielder Brian Goodwin hits left-handed but has reverse splits, with a significantly higher career OPS against southpaws compared to righties, so it's possible Fletcher begins the year in a platoon role alongside Goodwin. The 25-year-old will look to build upon a productive .290/.350/.384 slashline with 83 runs scored in 653 plate appearances in 2019.
Fletcher went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in a win over Oakland on Tuesday. Fletcher's trio of singles accounted for his third three-hit performance in his last six games. The Angels' leadoff man is finishing his second season in emphatic fashion, batting .341 (28-for-82) while scoring 12 runs over 20 games in September.
Fletcher went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI in Saturday's 8-4 win over the Astros. After going 0-for-8 in the prior two games, Fletcher bounced back with his ninth multi-hit performance in 18 games this month. The 25-year-old is slashing .329/.388/.370 in September, although Saturday's solo shot was his first extra-base hit of the bunch, as he caps off a solid first full season in the majors.