The careers of Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson intertwine deeply within the history of the Los Angeles Angels, but in a battle between the two, there is only one clear winner.
Earlier this week, I ran a poll on the Halo Hangout Facebook page asking a simple question of lifelong Angels fans; who would you take if you could have either Tim Salmon or Garret Anderson back in their primes? The poll garnered quite a response, with 295 people voting as of this writing, which should have been expected when pitting two of the greatest Angels of the last 30 years against one another.
Amazingly enough though, of the 295 votes, the results were fairly evenly split. 154 thought that Salmon should be the clear winner, and 141 preferred the return of Anderson. Some cited reasons for their vote, including whether one or the other was over or underrated, the consistency of the two, or even what side of the plate they hit from. Clearly, Angels fans were torn between the two.
However, since the vote was so clearly split, I thought it would be worthwhile to examine the two and their various pluses and minuses to see which come out on top.
For the sake of argument, I thought it was best to stick to the offensive side of the game. Neither was considered a solid fielder. According to FanGraphs, Salmon was a lifetime -139.9 DEF and only never had a single season where he rated positively in the category. Meanwhile, Anderson was a -59.6 over his career, and only saw six seasons where he graded on the plus side of the scale. It would be tough to make a case for either player taking defense into account and if we’re being honest, neither is really remembered for their contributions on that side of the ball.
The good news is that offensively, we can get a fairly even picture on both. Salmon played all 14 years of his career in an Angels uniform. On the other side of the coin, Anderson played 17 years in the Majors, but his last two came in Braves and Dodgers uniforms respectfully. To keep things even, we’ll not consider the latter two seasons in our comparison.
So let’s get started, shall we?