All-Angels Team Poll: Designated Hitter

By Brian Helberg
5 of 7

Howie Kendrick (2006-2014)

This one is a bit painful to write. Howie Kendrick exemplified Angels’ baseball over the past nine seasons, but on December 11, 2014, he was shipped to the hated cross-town Dodgers. Kendrick was originally selected by the Halos in the 10th round of the 2002 draft. Howie was an All-Star once (2011) during his time in the big A, and this past season was perhaps his best as a member of the Angels. In 2014, Kendrick hit .293, with 7 home runs and 75 RBI’s. His 75 runs batted in tied a career high, as did his 14 steals and .347 on base percentage. Kendrick tallied 181 hits this past season, a new career high for the 31-year-old. The Florida native helped the Halos reach the postseason four times during his career.

Jun 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Angels second basemen Howie Kendrick (47) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Howie Kendrick was an unsung hero for the Angels throughout his time in Anaheim, but no season was this more obvious than 2014. The Halos were dealing with a slew of injuries to impact bats, and were struggling to find a cleanup hitter. Kendrick stepped into the role, and flourished, proving to be an unconventional cleanup hitter. Kendrick suited up for the Angels in just over 1,000 games, combining to hit .292, with 78 long balls, 501 RBI’s, and 95 stolen bases. His batting line during his 9 seasons in the big A was .292/.332/.424/.756. Kendrick accumulated an impressive 24.3 offensive wins above replacement over the course of his nine seasons in Anaheim.

Howie Kendrick replaced Adam Kennedy in 2006, and the fan base immediately embraced Kendrick. Kendrick’s outgoing personality and infectious attitude allowed him to be loved in the clubhouse and the community. It will be tough for Angels’ fans to watch Kendrick play next summer in Chavez Ravine wearing Dodger blue.

Next: Torii Hunter