The Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels have played almost 60 seasons of baseball. As the baseball world is suspended due to circumstances outside its control, it is time to look back at the history of this organization. There have been many talented players to put on the uniform, and we at Crashing the Pearly Gates wish to highlight the best who have ever represented the Angels. Without further ado, here we go!
#99 – Luis Polonia, OF
Polonia spent four years with the Angels from 1990-1993. Very much a byproduct of the 1980’s, Polonia was a flawed player (turns out he was also a flawed human being) but his elite speed was coveted. In 560 games with the Angels, he swiped 174 bags. After stealing 20 bags in 1990, he stole 154 bases from ’91-’93. He was, however, caught stealing 68 times in that three-year-span. He led the American League in caught stealing in each of those years.
Polonia had a career of two stories with the Angels. In his first two years, Polonia was a perfectly fine starter. He posted an above-average .312/.361/.394 line (112 wRC+), swiped 68 bags and was worth 2.8 fWAR in 259 games. The next two years, however, were a disaster. Polonia was worth just 0.2 fWAR in 149 games in ’92 thanks to a large drop-off in offense (86 wRC+). 1993 was even worse as Polonia had the worst full season of any position player in franchise history. His negative 2.6 fWAR was by far the worst mark by any Angels player. Polonia played in 152 games with a dreadful 76 wRC+ and negative 22 Total Zone Runs.
Polonia was a fun player because of his speed and recklessness on the bases. His Angels career is a fun one to look back on given how polar opposite the beginning was from the end.