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!
#86 – Joe Saunders
Joe Saunders was the million dollar prospect that the Angels drafted in 2002 at 12th overall. Out of Virginia Tech, the lefty became a prominent part of the Angels rotation in the late 2000’s. Joe started on Opening day in 2009, but his most memorable start was that game after the school shooting and Bud Selig allowed him to wear his old VT hat.
In his 6 seasons in Anaheim, Joe did remarkably well, as he has the Angels all-time best winning percentage at .628 and his 54 wins are overall 15th best in Angels history. He was able to accomplish this in part due to how amazing the Angels offense was, but also his 692 innings pitched gave him an average of over 6 innings a start. Those 115 starts are 22nd all time for the Angels.
His rate stats are in the top 50th in Angels history. He has the 37th best ERA at 4.26. WHIP of 1.392 for 36th all time. 102 ERA + places him at a tie for 21st all-time. A FIP of 4.63 is 39th best, and he did have the 32nd most strikeouts at 392.
Mr. Saunders left the team in a trade for Dan Haren. He left behind a legacy of winning games at a time when pitching wins were much more well regarded than today. I miss him very much.