Scioscia heaps praise on Angels' D

Manager thinks team has the best defense in his 18 years with Halos

Scioscia heaps praise on Angels' D

ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia considers the 2017 Angels to be the best defensive teams he's managed during his 18 seasons with the club.

"I definitely think it's our best defensive team," Scioscia said before Sunday's series finale against the Mariners at Angel Stadium. "We've had some terrific defensive teams over the years, guys that were really good at making plays. But I think the dynamic this year is the range is the best we've ever had at a number of positions."

It all starts up the middle for the Angels.

Andrelton Simmons is widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop in baseball. He made a spectacular tag on Seattle's Jean Segura to end the third inning of Saturday's 5-4 win, receiving a high throw from first baseman Jefry Marte and reaching back to slap a no-look tag on Segura.

Then there's two-time American League MVP Mike Trout patrolling center field and new second baseman Danny Espinosa, whose defense has drawn early praise from the manager.

"We're as strong as you can be up the middle defensively," Scioscia said.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler improved the defensive over the offseason by signing Espinosa, trading for outfielder Cameron Maybin, acquiring catcher Martin Maldonado and bringing in free-agent outfielder Ben Revere.

"I think we all feel, definitely since the time I've been here, this is the best defensive team," said Scioscia, who has managed the Angels since 2000. "When you take in all the considerations of making routine plays, the range, the opportunity to take hits away, this is our best defensive team."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.