Bandy taking advantage of stint with Angels

Bandy taking advantage of stint with Angels

ANAHEIM -- Angels catcher Jett Bandy has gotten his first extended chance in the Major Leagues and has excelled, but the Angels' No. 20 prospect isn't done developing in the eyes of manager Mike Scioscia.

"When you make the Major Leagues as a catcher, that's just the beginning," Scioscia said. "You've obviously worked hard in the Minors to get here, but it's just the beginning of your development. Hopefully, that's where we're seeing Jett at this point."

Bandy, who was recalled after starting catcher Geovany Soto went on the disabled list with the torn meniscus in his right knee on May 18, has filled in wonderfully. While Carlos Perez has taken over the majority of the starts behind the plate, Bandy has taken advantage of his playing time.

The 26-year-old has hit .321/.333/.393 with two doubles and six RBIs in 10 games (28 at-bats), including a three-hit performance in Wednesday's loss to the Houston Astros. Bandy, primarily known as a defense-first catcher, has taken pride in his offense, something he'll have to continue as he makes his mark in the bigs.

After a short stint in the Majors last season, Bandy spent the winter working on his approach at the plate. With Triple-A Salt Lake this season, he hit .274/.314/.411 with two home runs and 21 RBIs in 24 games.

"Everyone wants to be more consistent," Bandy said. "My focus became just having quality at-bats. If you can have quality at-bats day in and day out, you're going to get some results."

Scioscia, a former Major League catcher, has preferred catchers with strong skills behind the plate. He said Bandy has performed well in that regard and that he's begun to adapt to the intricacies of being a Major League catcher.

"He's starting to understand a game plan, adjusting the game plan, understanding a pitcher going pitch to pitch and learning the league," Scioscia said. "There's a lot on the plate of a young catcher going into the Major Leagues, and with a staff that has some veteran pitchers. Jett has done a great job."

Bandy has relied on veterans such as Soto and Perez for advice, particularly when dealing with a pitching staff that has been constantly in flux due to injury issues.

"With catchers, it's like a fraternity," Bandy said. "You take and learn stuff from every guy, talk about everything with them. It's been a great experience to talk and learn from them."

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.