Chad Tracy, one of his minor league managers, two years ago said that Fletcher was “the best baseball player I’ve managed in two years I’ve done this. His knowledge of the game and intangibles, he seems to be a step ahead of everybody he’s playing against.”That showed up exactly one game into his major league career. In his June 13 debut – remember, the ninth game of his life at third – a throw from left field pulled catcher Martín Maldonado about 30 feet from the plate, which was left uncovered. Fletcher hustled toward home, took a flip from Maldonado on the run, and tagged out the runner, saving a run.“It’s like Magic Johnson on a basketball court,” Gill said. “That’s David Fletcher on a baseball field.”Now Fletcher plays alongside Andrelton Simmons, a two-time Gold Glove winner who is also credited for seeing the game on a higher level. Simmons joked that he is happy Fletcher seems so comfortable at third, “so he’s not going to take my job right now.”Fletcher, 24, took Valbuena’s job mostly because of his bat. He’s hit .298 with a .339 on-base percentage and only 15 strikeouts in his first 125 plate appearances. If there were any questions during a two-week stretch when he hit .147, they have been answered by hitting .429 in the two weeks since.Fletcher didn’t put much stock in either the cold stretch or the hot stretch that followed.“I kind of stay with the same thing every day,” he said. “I haven’t really made any adjustments. Just let the results take care of themselves.”Simmons said Fletcher provides a spark by being “pesky” at the plate.“It doesn’t matter what pitch, he finds a way to put a barrel on it, and probably find a hole,” he said. “It’s a great plus. I like seeing him hit. He’s just focused on squaring the baseball up. Very simple. Very effective.”About the only thing he doesn’t do is hit for power, which is why his future is probably as a second baseman or a utility player.Still, the offensive package has drawn comparisons to David Eckstein, who was Fletcher’s favorite player when he was growing up in Orange County.Scioscia, who penciled Eckstein in as his shortstop on their World Series-winning team in 2002, sees the comparison, but also wants to see Fletcher make his own name.Related Articles Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Fletcher was a junior at Cypress High the first time he took ground balls in front of Jason Gill, the baseball coach at Loyola Marymount.Gill watched for a few minutes and turned to his assistant who handled recruiting.“That guy could be our everyday shortstop today,” Gill told him. “Do whatever it takes to get him here.”Fletcher did end up playing at Loyola Marymount, and he ended up starting every game at shortstop for two years. He was draft-eligible after this sophomore year because he turned 21 about a week before the draft. “I think he’s going to be his own player,” Scioscia said. “He’s a good player, but if you’re comparing him to David Eckstein, that’s not a bad comparison. For the right reasons. I think he’s got the same baseball IQ. David Fletcher is a talented young man.”Fletcher appears to have been comfortable in the big leagues from the start. In two big league spring training camps, he played regularly and performed well. Although he is quiet – to the point of it being an amusement for his teammates – he is not too shy to sit and play cards with Albert Pujols or crack the occasional joke.He is, by all accounts, just a guy who knows how to act in every situation, on and off the field.“He’s very respectful,” Simmons said. “He doesn’t walk like he pretends he’s The Man. He’s willing to learn and listen. He doesn’t step on anybody’s toes. I have high hopes for him. I think he’s legit.”UP NEXTAngels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 8-6, 2.62) vs. Rays (RHP Ryne Stanek, 1-3, 2.43), Tuesday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM) Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Throughout Fletcher’s college career, Gill told him constantly that he was going to be a big leaguer.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Last month, he finally was. The Angels promoted him and put him at third base, a position he’d played only eight times in his life, all this year at Triple-A. He’s handled it well enough that he’s now an everyday player, having bumped Luis Valbuena to the bench. Fletcher has played mostly third, although he’s likely to move to second in the wake of the Ian Kinsler trade.Gill has watched with pride, but not a hint of surprise.“It’s like he was born to play,” Gill said. “The most comfortable place he is on the planet is on a baseball field or in the batter’s box. There’s no other place he’d want to be.”Throughout Fletcher’s ascent through the Angels’ farm system, coaches constantly lauded him for the perfect way he did everything.