Top 50 Los Angeles Angels

In 1951, Los Angeles had no Major League Baseball teams.

In 1961, they had two.

The Los Angeles Angels came into existence in 1961 as an expansion team, and while they were (and are) still secondary to the Dodgers, the constant name changes didn't help.  They went from the Los Angeles Angels (1961-65) to the California Angels (1965-96), Anaheim Angels (1997-2004), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005-15), and back to the Los Angeles Angels.

The team did not go to their first postseason until 1979, and in 2002, they won their first Pennant, which is, to date, the only one they have captured.  They made the most of their lone World Series appearance, winning it all.

This list is up to the end of the 2021 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and postseason accolades.

Rod Carew was one of, if not the greatest hitter in Minnesota Twins history, having won the 1977 MVP and was an All-Star in all twelve of his seasons there.  The Twins traded him west to California in 1979, and while Carew was not clearly declining, he was still one sweet hitter. Carew, who won six Batting Titles and four OBP Titles as a Twin, batted over .300 in his first five seasons in California, with all of those years showing an OBP over .380.  As an Angel, he collected his 3,000th Hit, and 968 of his career 3,053 Hits came on…
Troy Percival debuted in MLB with the California Angels in 1995, where he appeared in 62 Games in late relief, finishing 16 Games.  Percival was fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, and it was a springboard to becoming the Angels’ closer in 1996. Percival was the primary reliever for the Halos from '96 to 2004, going to four All-Star Games, and had at least 30 Saves in all of those years except for 1997.  The Angels had put it all together in 2002, with Percival closing seven games in the playoffs. With Francisco Rodriguez waiting in the wings, Percival left as…

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Erick Aybar is another name on the list of infielders from the Dominican Republic who had a long career in the Majors.   Signed in 2002, Aybar made it to the Los Angeles Angels four years later.  Aybar was not a regular player until 2009, but his defensive versatility was on full display well before that.  While Aybar only batted over .300 once (.312 in 2009), he overall batted a respectable .271 with 1,223 Hits as an Angel.  Aybar was an All-Star in 2014, and he had seven consecutive years with at least double-digits in Stolen Bases.   Has his OBP been better than .315…
Standing at 6’ 7”, Mike Witt was an imposing sound on the mound throughout the 1980s, a decade spent with the California Angels. Witt made it to the Majors in 1981, but he did not have his breakout until 1984 when he began a four-year streak winning 15 Games and fanning at least 180 batters.  In 1984, Witt made history as the 11th player in history to throw a perfect game when he blanked Texas in the season finale.  That performance elevated Witt to the staff ace, and he would represent the Angels in the 1986 and 1987 All-Star Game.   Witt declined…
Torii Hunter played for the Minnesota Twins for a decade before signing with Los Angeles as a Free Agent in 2008.  Hunter had a nice blend of speed and power, and though he was in his early 30s, he still had a lot left to offer his new team. The Outfielder was an Angel for five seasons, belting at least 20 Home Runs in the first four seasons, and was an All-Star in 2009 and 2010.  Hunter batted .286 for the Angels, contributing 768 Hits for the team, with 105 going deep.  He was still a good player with the glove, winning two…
A Seventh Round Pick in 1988, Jim Edmonds ascended to the Majors five years later, but it was not until 1995, where he showed what he could do at baseball's highest level.  Playing most of his career at Centerfield, Edmonds '95 campaign was his first All-Star year, blasting 33 Home Runs with 107 RBIs while batting .290. Edmonds continued to have good power numbers for the Angels, smacking at least 20 Home Runs with a .290 Batting Average over the next three seasons, and his defensive skills earned him Gold Gloves in 1997 and 1998.  Edmonds only played 55 Games in 1999…
Andrelton Simmons was a top defensive infielder when he was with the Atlanta Braves, and he brought that skill to Los Angeles when he was traded to the Angels after the 2015 Season. Simmons had a good 2016 but rattled off three straight Gold Gloves (2016-18) and two Wilson Defensive Player Awards (2017 & 2018).  2017 was especially impressive, as Simmons led the American League in Defensive bWAR with 5.1.  He had a career-high 164 Hits that year and was eighth in MVP voting.  Simmons left L.A. for Minnesota as a Free Agent before the 2021 Season. Simmons had 592 Hits and a…
Doug DeCinces had giant shoes to fill as he was the Orioles Third Baseman after Brooks Robinson.  He played well, but he was never going to be the Hall of Famer, and altercations with his star Pitcher, Jim Palmer, led to a trade to California in 1982. DeCinces’s career took an upward turn with the Angels, as he belted a career-high 30 Home Runs in '82 and had his only .300 season.  He was an All-Star the following season, and from 1984 to 1986, he smacked at least 20 across the fences.   His play slipped in 1987, and he was released, but…
In the year it counted the most, Jarrod Washburn had his best season. The southpaw first made the Majors in 1998, and he spent his first three years bouncing between the Minors and the parent club, staying for good in 2001.  Washburn won 11 Games in 2001, and in 2002, he posted a sweet record of 18 and 6 with a 3.15 ERA.  Washburn was arguably the ace that year, and he was fourth in Cy Young voting. Washburn's regular season did not translate into the playoffs, as despite performing well in the first two series, he was shellacked in the World…
Andy Messersmith played his first five seasons in the Majors, beginning in 1968, where he threw for 81.1 Innings with a 4-2 Record.  It was the start of what was a solid career. Messersmith became a starter the following year, winning a combined 27 Games in 1969 and 1970 and leading the American League in H/9.  1971 was viewed as Messersmith's best year in California, where he was fifth in Cy Young voting, made the All-Star Game, and won 20 Games.  He only won 8 Games in 1972 but had a lower ERA and WHIP and was the victim of poor run support.…
Wally Joyner had an excellent rookie season, where he was named an All-Star and was the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year behind Oakland's Jose Canseco.  The First Baseman had 22 Home Runs with a .290 Batting Average, and the sky appeared to be the limit for Joyner. Joyner's second season was even more robust, as he had career highs in Home Runs (34), RBIs (118), and Slugging Percentage (.528).  Unfortunately, this would be his peak, as his power numbers dropped, and he had only one more 20-plus HR season, which was his last in California (1991). With the Angels, Joyner…
The world was the limit for Shohei Ohtani, and in his fourth year in the Majors, that is what he delivered. Prior to his American arrival, Shohei Ohtani was nothing short of a phenom, winning a Pacific League MVP as a hitter and pitcher.  Ohtani was able to clear posting before he turned 25, a much younger age than his previous Japanese counterparts, and the Angels were the team that won his services, allowing Ohtani to come to North America for the 2018 Season. The Angels were cautious with Ohtani, but he did pitch in ten Games in his first North…
After 33 Games with St. Louis, Adam Kennedy was traded to the Anaheim Angels, sending Jim Edmonds the opposite direction.  Kennedy would become the Angels' starting Second Baseman the year after (2000) and would be so until 2006. Kennedy was not a great hitter but was excellent with the glove.  From 2001 to 2005, he had at least 1.0 in Defensive bWAR, peaking with 2.0 in 2005.  With the bat, he did enough, batting at least .266 each year as an Angel and batted .312 in their 2002 World Series Championship year.  He was especially good in the ALCS, blasting three Home Runs with…
Albie Pearson was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1958 with Washington, but his arrival to the Angels in 1961 as part of the Expansion Draft was not met with a lot of fanfare as his two previous years with the Senators and Orioles were not great.  With Los Angeles, he was able to recapture some of that rookie magic, albeit for a brief time. Standing at only 5' 5" and the shortest man in baseball at the time, Pearson was a Major League starter again, and the Outfielder batted .288 with a .420 OBP in his 1961 comeback…
Bob Boone is far greater known for his time in Philadelphia, where he helped them win the 1980 World Series, though don't sleep on what he did with the Angels. Boone was with California for seven seasons and only had 742 Hits with an OPS of .620.  That is poor offense, but the Angels did not acquire him for his bat.  At present, Boone’s Angels Defensive bWAR of 14.7 is the highest in franchise history and is higher than what he did in Philadelphia.  An All-Star in 1983, Boone led all American League Catchers in Total Zone Runs five times, Putouts five times,…
Dick Schofield was a highly sought-after player in the 1981 Draft and was taken third overall by the California Angels.  Schofield first played for the Angels in 1983, but it would be clear that his biggest asset would be his defense.  Fortunately, he was very good at it. Schofield never had a season where he had over 126 Hits (1988) and only had at least three digits three times (1986-88).  He did post three seasons of Defensive bWAR over 2.0, and he was one of the most underappreciated defensive players in the mid-80s.   He was traded to the Mets in 1992 and won…
Jim Abbott was born without a right hand, but you forgot it quickly when you saw him pitch. The Angels believed so immediately, as he was a First Round Pick (8th Overall) in 1988, and he made their starting rotation the following season, going 12-12 with a 3.92 ERA.  He was decent the next year (10-14, 4.51 ERA), but his best year in baseball by far was 1991.  Abbott posted a record of 18-11 and a 2.89 ERA, which was fourth in the American League, and he was third in Cy Young voting.  While his record dropped to 7-15 in 1992, his ERA went…
Before he won two back-to-back World Series with Toronto, Devon White established himself as an upper-tier defensive Outfielder with the Angels. After being drafted in 1981, White first made the Majors in 1985, and that year and in the one that followed, he played a combined 50 Games for the parent club.  White won the starting Centerfielder role in 1987 and had 168 Hits with 24 Home Runs and 32 Stolen Bases, arguably his best season with California. He had more acclaim in the following years, winning two Gold Gloves (1988 & 1989) and earning an All-Star berth in '89.  White was…
Ranking Albert Pujols so low is so strange for us.  Spending the second half of his career with the Angels, we know that Pujols will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee, but after a decent start, Pujols devolved into the most overpaid player in baseball and one of the worst everyday players. Pujols was a legend in St. Louis, winning three MVPs and leading them to a pair of World Series Championships.  He was so good that a legitimate question lingers as to who was the greatest Cardinal of all time, Pujols or Stan Musial.  When he was a free agent,…