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40 in 40: Aaron Fletcher

I work very hard

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Last season, 24-year-old rookie Aaron Fletcher made his Major League debut for the Seattle Mariners. Fletcher, who came to the Mariners in the 2019 Roenis Elías trade, did not pitch very well. His ERA sky scraped to 12.46, though most of that is due to pitching just 4.1 total innings. In those 4.1 innings, Fletcher served up six earned runs and seven walks, even hitting two batters just for fun. I’ve always said that hitting a batter is more efficient and intimidating than walking them.

With such a small amount of MLB service to work with, it’s hard to draw any conclusions about Aaron Fletcher. That’s never stopped me before, though. Despite only getting a sip of coffee in Seattle, I’m ready to anoint Aaron Fletcher as the best player named Fletcher in the American League West.

You may be thinking, what about Angels’ infielder David Fletcher, aka Fletchlore?

This is a fair point. David Fletcher has been a solid player in Anaheim for three years now, even posting a 4.5-win season in 2019 by Baseball-Reference’s measuring stick. However, consider this:

Aaron Fletcher: 4.1 MLB innings, 7 MLB strikeouts

David Fletcher: 0 MLB innings, 0 MLB strikeouts

If David Fletcher is so good, why has he never pitched? Pitcher is, after all, one of the most important positions on the field. No single player has the power to impact the game as quickly or wholly as the person throwing the pitch. Aaron Fletcher has thrown 121 pitches across six MLB games. David Fletcher has thrown zero pitches despite playing in 283 games. Seems like someone hasn’t earned the trust of their organization enough to throw those big innings, huh? Aaron Fletcher has pitched twice, TWICE, in the eighth inning and once in the ninth. That’s where the money resides.

We’ve established that pitching allows a player to leave their mark on a game, either positively or negatively. We’ve also established that David Fletcher has never done that, meaning his impact on the game pales in comparison to every pitcher in MLB history, particularly Aaron Fletcher. Now, dig this. One of the easiest ways for a player to individually hurt their team’s chances of winning is to make an error. Aaron Fletcher, heroically, has never made an MLB error in the history of his life. He’s probably never even thought about committing an error. That’s how much he loves his teammates. Guess who’s made 16 total errors in their career? That’s right, Fletchlore.

GIF courtesy of the Angels, for some reason

What is the offensive equivalent of an error? A failure that can be placed squarely on the shoulders of one player? The closest thing is probably a strikeout. You’re never going to believe this, but David Fletcher has struck out 123 times in an Angels uniform. He’s willingly stepped into the batter’s box with a chance to help his team and specifically chosen not to a whopping 123 times!

Aaron Fletcher, meanwhile, has never even batted, meaning he’s never even put himself in a position to strike out and disappoint people like that.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Furthermore, Aaron Fletcher was part of the 2019 Arkansas Travelers, one of the more exciting and star-studded minor league teams in recent history. David Fletcher was nowhere to be found, and it’s unclear if he’s ever even been to Arkansas. You may be thinking, well, David wasn’t in the minors in 2019 because he was already a starter for the Angels.

Do you hear how entitled that sounds? This is why the class divide in this country grows bigger and bigger each day, because of people like David Fletcher thinking they can skip the line and go straight to the top. Because he never played for the Arkansas Travelers, or even acknowledged their existence, we can assume that David Fletcher is anti-minor leagues, which is gross and indefensible.

As James Baldwin said, “We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” By not speaking up in support of the 2019 Arkansas Travelers, David Fletcher is abetting the vicious cycle of oppression that people like Aaron Fletcher are trying to stop.

Something you might not know about Aaron Fletcher, given that we only saw him very briefly in 2020, is that he’s left-handed. Did you know that only 10 percent of the American population is left-handed? The other 90 percent rule the nation with an iron, right-handed fist.

Well, well, well, look who throws AND bats right-handed. David Owen Fletcher. On top of his lack of solidarity with the minor leaguers, a famously oppressed group of people, David also has the hubris to be right-handed, and thus part of one of the most hegemonic populations on Earth. The FBI will be arriving soon.

MLB: APR 19 Mariners at Angels
when the jig is up
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Our final piece of evidence is the most straightforward. On the evening of August 29, 2020, the Mariners and Angels met for a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Ignoring the fact that the game was hosted by a team that calls themselves Los Angeles even though the literal name of their stadium says they play in Anaheim, the Mariners agreed to play the game and quickly found themselves in a tough situation. Already winning 6-1 (rude and hurtful), David’s team came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mariners pitcher that inning? Our beautiful and flawless Aaron.

After failing to record an out on any of the first three hitters, Aaron faced his unfortunate namesake with runners on first and second. What happened next can only be described as impossibly righteous, a cathartic and long overdue correction that righted so many post wrongs inflicted upon us. Aaron threw his 1-1 pitch to David, and, miraculously, David grounded a ball to shortstop. From there the ball was fielded, flipped to second, and then relayed to first.

This means not only that Aaron had defeated David, but also that David had turned his plate appearance not into the standard one out, but two of them. Faced with a tremendous opportunity to further his fascist regime, David was felled by the arc of justice, as the Mariners not only turned his tyranny back on him, but doubled its powers.

This proved once and for all that Aaron Fletcher is the best player named Fletcher in the American League West. The defense rests.