Peter Bourjos tried to forget about 2012 as quickly as possible, and now he's got an opportunity to make everyone else forget, too.
Bourjos has the chance to be the Los Angeles Angels' everyday center fielder if he can hit at close to the level he did in 2011, before a season that started with an injury and included plenty of idle time on the bench.
When all was said and done, Bourjos hit .220 with a .291 on-base percentage last year.
"It's tough to look at anything offensively with Peter and say he did or didn't do this," manager Mike Scioscia said, "because once Mike Trout came and took off, Peter never got the consistent looks to contribute. The year before is more reflective of what his talent is, and hopefully he'll play at that level."
In 2011, Bourjos hit .271 with 12 homers and a league-leading 11 triples. Although those aren't eye-popping numbers offensively, certainly they are good enough to keep Bourjos in center field, where his glove is his real strength.
"Peter has the ability not to have the pressure to bring a ton of offense or be off the chart offensively like Mike Trout is because of the premium defensive look he gives your team and how he can help you win games out there," Scioscia said. "Peter is a good baseball player. If he ends up playing at the level he can, no doubt he's going to get a lot of playing time and give us a deep look in the outfield on the defensive side."
As for his offense, Bourjos said he's coming to camp after a winter of extra hitting. Instead of taking one or two months off, as he had in the past, he skipped only one week after the season.
"I'm just trying to stay short to the ball like always, stay on top of the baseball," Bourjos said. "I think what I did in 2011, I can do that again if I have the at-bats."
He should get the chance, with Torii Hunter moving to Detroit as a free agent and Kendrys Morales going to Seattle in a trade. Mark Trumbo figures to take over as the designated hitter, leaving an outfield spot for Bourjos.