For the past decade, the Los Angeles Angels have been built around superstar center fielder Mike Trout and first baseman Albert Pujols. Trout has already cemented himself as the greatest player in Angels history, and is quickly climbing leaderboards to become one of the all-time greats in Major League Baseball.
Pujols, meanwhile, will be remembered more for his days with the St. Louis Cardinals. However, his near 10 seasons with the Angels cannot be overlooked. He set many of his records and crossed many statistical milestones with the Halos.
Both were listed relatively high on ESPN’s recent top 100 players of all time countdown. Trout was the highest-ranked Angel on the list and one of six Angels players — who played at least five seasons with the Halos — to be featured on the list.
Below, we’ll break down all six players, where they were ranked by ESPN, and their time in Anaheim.
No. 77: RF Vladimir Guerrero
Tenure with Angels: 2004-2009
Guerrero — ranked 77th by ESPN — spent the back-end of his prime with the Angels after eight incredible seasons with the now defunct Montreal Expos. In his Angels tenure, Guerrero remained one of the best players in baseball, winning the one MVP award of his career in 2004.
He batted .319 with a .927 OPS, a stunning 1.27 K-to-BB ratio, 173 home runs, and 616 RBIs during his six years with the Angels. He made the postseason in five out of six seasons, getting to the ALCS in 2005 and 2009. There is an argument to be made that — behind Trout — Guerrero is the second-greatest Angels player of all time.
No. 75: 1B Rod Carew
Tenure with Angels: 1979-1985
Carew comes in at No. 75 on ESPN’s all-time rankings, largely due to his time with the Minnesota Twins. However, he was still a hugely productive player during his seven seasons with the Angels. He played the last seven years of his career — age 33-39 — in Anaheim, and still managed six All-Star appearances.
He batted .314 with a .784 OPS in over 3,500 plate appearances. Carew wasn’t much of a power hitter, but he knew how to get on base as well as anyone in MLB history. In his Angels tenure, his K-to-BB ratio was 0.77. Carew made the playoffs twice with the Angels, in 1979 and 1982, losing in the ALCS both times.
No. 55: OF Reggie Jackson
Tenure with Angels: 1982-1986
At No. 55 all-time, Jackson is mostly remembered as a member of the Angels’ division rivals, the Oakland Athletics. However, he spent five years — ages 36-40 — in Anaheim. Despite being nowhere near the Hall of Fame caliber player he once was, he was still solid in an Angels uniform.
He made three All-Star Games in five seasons, hitting 123 home runs and 374 RBIs while batting .239. He won a 1982 Silver Slugger award and helped the Angels get to two ALCS’, losing both in 1982 and 1986.
No. 42: SP Nolan Ryan
Tenure with Angels: 1972-1979
Ryan — the 42nd-greatest player of all time according to ESPN — was a big-leaguer for 27 seasons. However, he spent perhaps his best eight as a member of the Angels. He made five All-Star Games with the Angels and finished top-3 in Cy Young voting three times.
Ryan is the only Angels pitcher to make the top 100, posting a 3.07 ERA, a 1.294 WHIP, and a K-per-9 of 10.0 over an eight-season span. Sadly, the Angels only made the postseason once in his eight years with the team, losing in the ALCS in 1979 alongside Carew.
No. 30: 1B Albert Pujols
Tenure with Angels: 2012-21
The Angels made one of their biggest splashes in franchise history when they signed Pujols to a 10-year, $252 million contract in the winter of 2011-12. And while Pujols does come in at No. 30 on the all-time list, most of his individual and team success came from his time with the Cardinals.
In 10 seasons with the Angels, Pujols made just one All-Star Game. He was an All-Star in nine of 11 seasons in St. Louis, winning three MVP awards. His Angels tenure came to an ugly end in 2021 when he was designated for assignment after a dispute regarding playing time.
No. 15: CF Mike Trout
Trout — ranked 15th all-time — has been with the Angels since 2011, and has been a truly special talent since Day 1. There is a strong argument to be made that No. 15 is simply too low for a player of Trout’s caliber, even when you factor in that he is only 30, 11 seasons into a no-doubt Hall of Fame career.
Trout’s career batting average sits at .305 and his career OPS sits at 1.002. He has three MVP awards and a ridiculous nine top-five finishes. He has hit 310 home runs and 816 RBIs and is on pace to become one of the greatest players in MLB history. Trout has nine years remaining under contract with the Angels.