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Former Trash Pandas infielder called up to the majors

Another former member of the Rocket City Trash Pandas is set to make his major league debut.

Sunday, the Los Angeles Angels announced infielder Michael Stefanic has been promoted to the parent club of the Trash Pandas. He’ll make his major league debut for the team’s series finale in Houston, where he’ll bat sixth and play second base in a contest against the Astros.

With Sunday’s announcement, Stefanic becomes the 14th former Trash Panda player to get the call to the majors and the fourth to do so in 2022, following Aaron Whitefield, Chase Silseth, and David MacKinnon. Stefanic started his career with the Trash Pandas in 2021 and was the starting second baseman during the first game in Trash Pandas history, a 6-1 loss in Chattanooga on May 6, 2021.

In his 21-game stint with the Trash Pandas, Stefanic batted .345 with one home run, nine RBIs, 11 runs scored, and a .406 on-base percentage. That lone home run came during the second-ever game at Toyota Field for the Trash Pandas, when he blasted a two-run shot to left field, giving the Trash Pandas a 6-4 lead they would hold for the first home victory for the franchise.

Stefanic was promoted to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees on May 29, 2021. In 2021, he posted a .334 batting average, hitting 16 home runs, batting in 54, notched 21 doubles, and scored 67 runs – all over 104 games. This offensive performance netted him recognition as a Triple-A West Post-Season All-Star. In addition, his .334 average was second-best in Triple-A West, and he posted a club-best 15-game hitting streak from July 10-25, hitting .411 over that span.

In 2022, Stefanic’s offensive tear has continued. He’s batted .320 with one home-run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles and 30 runs scored – all over 46 games. Stefanic originally joined the Angels organization out of Westmont College. The Angels signed him as an undrafted free agent on July 19, 2018.

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