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!
#84 -Juan Rivera
A slugging righty from Venezuela and one of the last Expos; Juan Rivera was traded to Anaheim along with Maicer Izturis for the cancer known as Jose Guillen in a lopsided trade in the winter of 2004. Once here, he was a solid every day player for the Angels in the outfield. From 2005-2010, Juan Rivera solidified the OF, at least when he was healthy. (He broke his leg in the Venezuela winter league in 2006.)
During his time in Anaheim, Juan Rivera posted a slash of .277/.325/.464 for an OPS+ of 107 and a BWAR of 7.2. That is the 27th best OPS+ in Angels history and his OPS of .789 is 17th best, just under GA. That .464 slugging is tied for 11th best as well with the .325 OBP being 46th. Like a few other Angels in the 21st century, he left the team after hitting just over 90 home runs, his 92 tying Napoli as 21st all time in Angels history.
Juan Rivera in 2009 had the third highest home run total for a LF in Angels history(25), as well as the second highest OPS(.810). That was also the year that he had a crucial part in the ALDS vs Boston, driving in 2 runs and stealing a base in the clinching 3rd game for the sweep.
As well as he played, he was overshadowed in a lot of ways by others in the lineup at the time. But, he is remembered fondly due to the issues in LF since his departure in a trade for Vernon Wells. He was never the same after that, and neither has LF been for the Angels. Still one of the best offensive LF the team has ever had, Juan Rivera has been missed.
While either sitting in sec 106 or 107. I would yell out Juan! and he would look our way and the people seated around us would all think I know him, It was great. After a while, he wouldn’t look so confused when I yelled out his name.
Endless recursion in time…
Dammit, ryanfea! You’ve gone and reopened the temporal wormhole!!!
It’s on the other side of that wormhole is where Ryanfea catches that foul ball. He has to travel to another universe to do so, apparently.
I must redeem myself!
He gave me a high five once while he was signing for fans before a game.