Aug. 31—With Friday marking the beginning of the last full month of the Major League Baseball regular season, there has been one clear and noticeable omission from the lineup each and every day for the Los Angeles Angels.
Where’s Max Stassi?
Yuba City’s favorite son, who made history for both the Honkers and the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox during his time in Northern California has not played at all for the Angels in 2023.
The Angels have said all year that Stassi is not active due to hip and personal issues. In fact, the 32-year-old catcher was recently transferred to the 60-day from the 15-day injured list in June, according to media reports.
The team continues to say that Stassi is recovering from a hip injury, while taking a personal leave of absence from the team.
This week, Max Stassi’s father, Jim Stassi, weighed in on his son’s current situation.
“He has had hip issues the past couple years and had both surgically repaired but he is fully recovered from that,” Stassi said in an emailed statement to the Appeal-Democrat. “The personal issue is still ongoing and he would like to keep it that way.”
Jim Stassi once coached Max Stassi and his brothers, Brock and Jake Stassi at Yuba City High, where in 2007 the quartet won a Sac-Joaquin Section Division baseball championship. Max and Jake Stassi followed up with two more titles in 2008 and 2009 with Jim Stassi as the manager.
Jim Stassi told the Appeal this week that Max Stassi’s career is not over.
“I can assure you that his career is far from over and will be back with the Angels as soon as possible,” elder Stassi said.
Max Stassi, who will turn 33 in March of next year, signed an extension with the Angels last year worth $17.5 million guaranteed, with a 2025 team option totaling the value to $24.5 million.
At the time Stassi signed his latest deal, the former Honker and Gold Star star was coming off one of his better years in the pros with career-highs in home runs (13) and runs batted in (35) in 2021.
Over his 10-year pro career that spanned three teams — all in the American League West — Stassi is hitting .212 with 41 home runs and 128 RBI in 403 career games.
Stassi was drafted by Oakland in the fourth round of the 2009 amateur draft. He was shipped to Houston in 2013 where he spent seven seasons, including the 2017 World Championship season, before moving west again to the Angels.
At the prep level, Stassi was a career .514 hitter in four varsity seasons with a .621 on-base percentage, 40 home runs and 162 RBI.
Joe Graben, an assistant to Jim Stassi during the prolific YC baseball years, once called Max Stassi one of the best to ever come out of Yuba City.
He received a $1.5 million signing bonus out of high school, which Graben called a “rare feat,” according to Appeal archives.
“Max was an outstanding baseball player and would have to be ranked at the top or near it primarily due to his longevity at the Major League level,” Graben said in a previous Appeal report. “His work ethic is impeccable but he also has the talent to back it up. His freshman year on varsity baseball Max played shortstop and was chosen player of the year.”
Source: Yahoo Sports