Photo: Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
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!
#75 – Garrett Richards
Before the 2012 season, Richards was ranked the #67 prospect in MLB. He never quite reached #1 in the Angels rankings but that was due to the fact that his bestie Mike Trout was in the same 2009 draft class as him (a draft that also included Tyler Skaggs).
Drafted out of college, Richards climb to the Majors was fast after dominating in Orem in 2009 and at the High A and AA level in 2010. Richards skipped over AAA completely and debuted for the Angels on August 10th, 2011 – about 1 month after Trout’s debut. Richards was rocked by the Yankees (aka Curtis Granderson) in New York for his debut. He started 2012 in Salt Lake but was called up for good (barring rehab stints) in May that year.
Plagued by bad luck with the Angels, Richards perhaps never lived up to his potential. He was coming into his own in 2014 when he threw 168.2 innings with a 2.61 ERA and 1.038 WHIP. His stellar season would end with a knee injury (thanks Fenway Park) and the Angels went on to clinch the division title only to be swept by the Royals in the ALDS. Richards returned to throw 207.1 innings in 2015, his only “full” season (2014 was nearly a full season) with team.
Richards managed only 138.1 innings from 2016-2018. His 2016 season was cut short with a torn UCL on which he did not have surgery. Ultimately, Richards did have Tommy John surgery in 2018 which ended his career as an Angels. The Angels tried but were unable to re-sign Richards who went on to ink a 2-year deal with the San Diego Padres.
He threw only 681 innings as an Angel over parts of 8 seasons but still landed #16 in fWAR on the Angels all-time list of starting pitchers. His career ERA with the team was 3.54 with 645 Ks and a 3.64 FIP. Richards was a guy everyone loved to cheer for and hopefully he still has a decent career left ahead of him despite the fact he’ll be turning 32 in May.