CIRCA 1970's: Nolan Ryan #34 of the California Angles pitches during circa mid 1970's Major League Baseball game. Ryan played for the Angles from 1972-79. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Top 10 Angels of All Time will not include active players, of course upon retirement Mike Trout will assume the top position.

 

10) Bobby Grich

In 1985, Grich set a since-broken Major League record with a .997 fielding percentage in 116 games at second base. In Angels’ history, Grich ranks within the top 10 in numerous offensive categories after posting a .269 average with 154 home runs, 557 RBI, and 601 runs.

9) Rod Carew

Carew is remembered primarily as a Minnesota Twin and only spent 7 years with the Angels. During this time with the Angels, he was named to six All-Star teams, recorded 968 hits, and maintained a batting average of .314.

8) Tim Salmon

Salmon was named rookie of the year in 1993 when he hit 31 home runs. Salmon’s best season came in 1995 when he hit a career-best .330 with 34 home runs and 105 RBI. He is perhaps best remembered for his exploits during the 2002 World Series when he hit two home runs in Game 2 and hit .346 in a seven-game victory over the Giants.

7) Brian Downing

Downing posted a career-high .326 average and made his only All-Star team in 1979, leading California to its first West Division championship (he later helped the Angels into the postseason in 1982 and ‘86). In 1982, he hit 28 home runs and did not commit an error in 158 games in left field, and in ‘86, he drove in a career-high 95 runs.  When he left the Angels after the 1990 season, he was the franchise leader in games (1,661), at-bats (5,854), runs (889), hits (1,588), doubles (282), home runs (222), and RBI (846).

6) Jim Fregosi

Fregosi was an incredibly dependable player while playing for the Angels. Fregosi became the youngest player in American League history to hit for the cycle (he was surpassed in 1997 by Alex Rodriguez, but the Angels reclaimed the record in 2013 with Mike Trout). He is also the only player in Angels history to hit for the cycle on two separate occasions.

5) Chuck Finley

From 1989 to ‘91, he was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, with a 52–27 win-loss record on top of a 2.93 ERA and 504 strikeouts. His best season came in 1990 when he finished 18–9 with a 2.40 ERA and 177 strikeouts. For his career with the Angels, Finley piled up 165 wins and 2,151 strikeouts over 14 seasons.

4) Mike Witt

Witt was a key pitcher in two postseasons for the Angels, he threw a perfect game against the Rangers in 1984, and combined with Mark Langston for a no-hitter in 1990. His 314 appearances were a franchise record at the end of his tenure (now seventh), while Witt’s 109 wins (fourth), 1,283 strikeouts (fourth), and 70 complete games (third) also rank highly in team history. Witt’s best season came in 1986 when he went 18–10 with a career-high 208 strikeouts to lead the Angels to the West Division championship.

 3) Vladimir Guerrero

Guerrero was the American League MVP in 2004, leading the Angels to the first of five postseason appearances during his tenure. That season, his .337 average was the highest in franchise history for a right-handed hitter and third-highest ever with the Angels. During his six seasons, Guerrero hit a franchise record .319 with 173 home runs and 616 RBI.

2) Garret Anderson

In his time with the Angels, Garret Anderson ranked highly among all players in baseball with 489 doubles (2nd), 2,363 hits (3rd), and 1,291 RBI (8th). He also hit .296 (45th) in 2,008 games (4th). In 2002, he had a huge season to help the Angels win their only World Series championship. He led the AL with 56 doubles while hitting .306 with 29 home runs and 123 RBI to finish fourth in MVP voting.

1) Nolan Ryan

Ryan threw four no-hitters and six one-hitters during an eight-year stay with the Angels. He led the AL in strikeouts in seven of those eight seasons, including a career-high 383 in 1973 (which is also the most in a season for a pitcher since 1886). Ryan holds the top five single-season strikeout marks in team history, and he also had 19 strikeouts in a game four times. Ryan went 138–121 with 2,416 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA, which is the second-best mark in team history. His 156 complete games are a franchise record, and he won seven straight complete games in 1973. His 22 wins in 1974 are tied for the franchise record.

 

 

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