Ranking the top five first basemen in Angels history.
After looking at the top starting pitchers in franchise history last week, it’s time to focus on the best to play the number three position on the scorecard.
In debating who is the greatest first baseman in Angels history, you need to open some wounds. There are 26 players who have played at least 100 games at the position in a Halos uniform. That list includes Albert Pujols and Mo Vaughn, two free agent signings that arguably belong on a list of the team’s worst signings.
Fans might not realize Vaughn is tied for 7th all-time in home runs by an Angels first baseman. His .844 slugging percentage ranks first among players who suited up at least 200 times at the position. Don’t worry, he didn’t make the list, but his numbers somehow rank relatively high. We will get to Pujols’ credentials in a bit (spoiler alert).
In ranking the top first basemen to wear a Halo on their cap, I focused on the seasons in which each player actually manned first base for the majority of their playing time. For instance, Darin Erstad‘s 2002 season doesn’t count, since he was an outfielder at that time. Longevity mattered, but superlative seasons were also considered. Only the player’s time with the Angels is factored into the ranking—Pujols doesn’t get extra credit for his achievements in St. Louis.
Before we get into the list, there are some honorable mentions: J.T. Snow (1993-1996), Kendrys Morales (for his 2009 season), Mark Trumbo (2011 and 2013 seasons), and Casey Kotchman (2007-2008 seasons).
Without further ado, here are the five best first baseman in franchise history.