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Angels All-Time Lists

LA Angels: Who is the greatest first baseman in franchise history?

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NEW YORK - CIRCA 1990: Wally Joyner #21 of the California Angels is down and ready to make a play on the ball against the New York Yankees during an Major League Baseball game circa 1990 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Joyner played for the Angels from 1986-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1990: Wally Joyner #21 of the California Angels is down and ready to make a play on the ball against the New York Yankees during an Major League Baseball game circa 1990 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Joyner played for the Angels from 1986-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 18: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 18, 2019 in New York City. The Angels defeated the Yankees 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

4) Albert Pujols

It feels strange placing Albert Pujols among the top first basemen in Angels history for a few reasons: one, you think of him most as a designated hitter since he arrived in Anaheim; and two, when Angels fans look back on his career, they will remember him more as an overpriced free-agent who was too old to live up to the size of his contract than one of the top first baseman in franchise history.

Perhaps Pujols’ ranking on the list tells you more about the lack of long-term, productive first basemen to call Anaheim home than it does about the former MVP’s accomplishments while playing for the Angels.

While he has spent plenty of time as a designated hitter, believe it or not, Pujols has still played 567 games at first, fourth most in franchise history. He needs one more home run to tie Wally Joyner for the most home runs by an Angels player while manning first.

Pujols played his most games as a first baseman during his first season with the Angels in 2012, which was also his best season in the American League. He batted .285/.343/.516 that year with 30 home runs and 105 RBIs. He didn’t cross the 30 home run, 100 RBI threshold in the same season again until 2016.

Pujols recently turned 40. A lost season will surely impact his ability to reach some important career milestones. Angels fans will be happy when his 10-year, $240 million contract is finally up in 2021.

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