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OC Register: Hunter Renfroe happy to add Angels jersey to his collection


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Hunter Renfroe’s memorabilia room is getting crowded.

“My man cave and the hitting cage in the shed there is getting filled up with different jerseys,” the newest Angels outfielder said Wednesday. “We’ll add another to it. We’ll look forward to it and laugh about it at the end.”

The Angels – who will be Renfroe’s fifth team in five years – are hoping Renfroe is laughing while looking back on a good season that includes the playoffs.

Desperate for more pop in their lineup, the Angels swung a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night to get Renfroe. He said general manager Perry Minasian told him he’ll play right field and be in the lineup every day.

That would mean Taylor Ward, who had a breakthrough season in right field in 2022, most likely moves to the top of the Angels’ depth chart in left field.

Last year, the Angels got a major-league best .879 OPS out of center field, mostly manned by Mike Trout. Their right fielders, mostly Ward, produced a .773 OPS, which ranked sixth.

But their left fielders – mostly Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh – combined for a .598 OPS that ranked 29th in the majors.

Renfroe could go a long way to plugging the corner outfield hole if he can produce at his customary level. He posted an .807 OPS with 29 homers with the Brewers last year. His career OPS is .790 in a journey that’s taken him from the Padres to the Tampa Bay Rays to the Boston Red Sox to the Brewers and now the Angels.

He’s also a free agent at the end of the 2023 season, so if the Angels don’t sign him to an extension, he’ll be wearing another new uniform in 2024.

For now, though, Renfroe said he’s happy with his latest team.

“I was in Southern California for a long time with the Padres, and to come back there is pretty cool,” he said.

Renfroe, who will be 31 in January, said he’s also looking forward to playing with stars like Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

“It’s very exciting to be able to witness greatness every day and see those guys play, even on other side,” Renfroe said. “It’s fun to watch them play and stuff. So just to be on the same field as them and learn from guys like that and see what their daily routines are, it’s pretty special.

“Obviously it takes a little pressure off every player to be on the field with those guys and watch them do what they do, and just kind of be a piece to the puzzle and just help them be great.”

Playing with Trout also presents a special opportunity for Renfroe, who for years has been hearing about how he and the Angels star look similar. Renfroe was sporting a beard and mustache when he spoke on Zoom on Wednesday, so he didn’t look quite as much like Trout’s twin as he did in earlier years.

“Everybody says that, from when I was with the Padres,” Renfroe said. “It’s all fun.”

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