Top 100 Angels #68 Orlando Cabrera

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!

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#68 – Orlando Cabrera

What is it with the Angels and early 2000’s Expos anyway? A year after ruining the Angels chances in the 2004 playoffs as a part of Boston, Orlando Cabrera decided go to Anaheim anyway for the 2005 season.

In his 3 seasons, the shortstop filled the gap left by Eckstein and showed off his great glove. From 2005-2007, he accumulated 2.6 Defensive BWAR, 31st highest in club history. In 2007 that defense was also good enough to nab a Gold Glove. That was only the second GG for a SS in Angeles history, the first being Fregosi.

Being productive at SS was a boon for the Angels. Orlando did his part in the 2005 ALDS, getting the clutch hit in game 2 over the MFY. An 8.4 BWAR is 40th all time among hitters and he had the same OBP as Kendrys. His .720 OPS is the 3rd most by an Angels SS (with at least 1500 PA).

What really set him apart from others though was his speed. 68 Stolen bases in just 3 seasons. Even stealing home. 24th all time in franchise history. He had over 90% success rate two twice. Finishing top 3 in the AL in 2005 and 2006. 68 SB is 5th most by Angels SS.

2007 was his finest and final year with the team. Batted .301, won that Gold Glove, and got 15th place in MVP voting. Sure he was never a power guy but he didn’t need to be. He was good at everything else and was part of the unbroken chain of great SS for the 21st century Angels.

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Jeff Joiner
Editor
Super Member
2 years ago

Phenomenal player. Replaced a fan favorite, abs many fans were upset at the time. But as much as I liked Eck I’d find myself saying “Eck doesn’t make that play” time and again.

red floyd
Legend
2 years ago

OC probably had the highest baseball IQ (or most baseball smarts) I have ever seen in a player. Simba is brilliant, too, but I think he relies a bit more on raw talent. OC was always using his head, every play.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Hmm, never realized the Angels had such a solid chain at shortstop. Eckstein to OC to Aybar to Simba.

ryanfea
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Very stable. Add in Disarcina held the position almost the entirety of the 90s prior to that.