All-Angels Team: Center Fielder [Poll]

By Brian Helberg
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Jim Edmonds (1993-99)

The California Angels selected Jim Edmonds in the 7th round of the 1988 draft out of Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, CA. Edmonds got his first taste of big league action in 1993 as a September call-up. Who could have known in ’93 that Edmonds would turn into one of the greatest center fielders in league history. He finished 7th in rookie of the year voting in 1994, and followed that up with his best season as a member of the Angels in ’95. Edmonds made his first All-Star appearance in 1995 after hitting .290, with 33 home runs and 107 RBI’s across 141 games as the Halos narrowly missed out on the postseason. Edmonds never made the playoffs during his seven seasons in Anaheim, but he did win two Gold Gloves, make one All-Star team, and he finished in the top-15 of MVP voting once.

Jim Edmonds was a budding star in Anaheim, and while fans never got to see him reach his full potential as an Angel, he was still one of the cornerstones of the franchise in the 90’s. He hit .290, with 121 home runs, 408 RBI’s across just over 700 games in the big A. He dazzled fans with his grace as he tracked down numerous fly balls that seemed unreachable. Edmonds was a gifted defensive outfielder who relied more on instincts than speed. He posted a 2.74 range factor per 9 innings, besting the league average of 2.63. He matched the league average .988 fielding percentage for center fielders of his era. Edmonds managed to tally an impressive 20.4 wins above replacement during his seven seasons in Anaheim.

highlight reel grabs were one of the big reasons I became an Angels’ fan. However, it is almost unfair the way we remember him, as he was just as strong offensively as he was defensively. While it is hard to say whether Cooperstown will come calling, Edmonds will go down as one of the greats in baseball history.

Next: Torii Hunter