Left-Handed Starting Pitcher George Brunet played for the Angels from 1964 until he was sold to the expansion Seattle Pilots in the middle of the 1969 season, their first and only year of existence. While he had a losing record on the mound here, he was a reliable arm for five seasons here.
This is the fourth “Top 100 Angels” list I have worked on compiling in my life. George Brunet just keeps rising. After the 2005 season I had him ranked 96th All Time Angel. After the 2008 season with the input of others at the old site we had him at #63. After the 2013 season we had him at #52. So here it is a list after the 2019 season and he ranks #47! If I am involved in 7 more lists he may crack the top ten yet!
Brunet is a case study in methodology. Prior to the OPS+ stat being available, let alone WAR, for all the sabermetrics known up to 2005, Brunet’s losing record punctuated by 69 pitching losses in five and a half seasons with the club stuck out like a sore thumb. But all that is hardly noticeable thru the lens of advanced stats though. George Brunet is one of fifteen Angels pitchers with more than 1,000 Innings Pitched. His 3.13 ERA ranks fourth among that select group and is sixth for Angels pitchers with more than 550 Innings Pitched as a Halo. We are going to need some GOOD players making hay here for a few seasons to bump this guy out of the Top Fifty.
His best season was 1965 when he pitched 197 innings, allowed only 149 hits, struck out 141 batters and had an ERA of 2.56 and an ERA+ of 131. His record that year: 9-11 that season. He led the AL in losses in 1967 and ’68 (19 and 17 games respectively) saw him post ERAs of 3.31 and 2.86.
Brunet’s 12.3 WAR is the 17th best by an Angels pitcher. He pitched in 194 games for the Angels, starting 157 of them with 33 Complete Games. He allowed 862 hits, struck out 678 batters (fifteenth most by an Angels arm) and had a 1.202 WHIP (sixth best all time for Angels pitchers with more than 550 IP).
George Brunet made his first appearance in the minor leagues in 1953 at age 18. He pitched until 1989 – most of his time after the bigs being spent in the Mexican League, but still, that is 37 years of pitching in the pros. He had a heart attack at age 41 and pitched four more seasons. He died in 1991 while serving as a coach in the Mexican League, a baseball lifer.