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!
Leroy Stanton was part of one of the most memorable trades (at least on the positive side) in Angels history, coming over from the New York Mets with, among others, ace Nolan Ryan. Throughout his five-year tenure with the Angels, he played a serviceable right field, providing 7.2 rWAR over that span.
Stanton hit .247 over those five years (perhaps the Khris Davis before his time?), and he accumulated a .693 OPS, which was only 6% better than league average. His best season was 1975, when he swatted 14 home runs in 137 games and hit .261/.345/.416/.761, good enough to put him at 23% above league average. In 1976, his last season with the club, he was dropped from the starting lineup and didn’t hit so well. Stanton ended up in Seattle the following year.
His defense was nothing too spectacular, as he always finished around replacement level, but it was serviceable enough, combined with a sometimes-potent bat, to keep him in the lineup for the large part of his tenure with the Angels.
Stanton perished in a car accident last year.
Ultimately, he wasn’t a star, but in order to build a championship roster, you need players like him, those who you can count on for years who don’t drag down the lineup.