Darin Erstad – 1B/OF (2000)
AVG/OBP/OPS: .355/.409/ .951
Home Runs: 25
Stolen Bases: 28
While my additions to this Angels team have focused on the pitching side the team can use some extra help offensively as well. Here at Halo Hangout, we have talked about the questions that the Angels have in the outfield currently. Mike Trout will continue to patrol centerfield excellently, we all know this. However, we don’t know what the team will get from Justin Upton, Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Taylor Ward. While the hope is that Upton will bounce back and produce around 25-30 homers while playing serviceable defense in left field, right field is a bigger question mark.
Another storyline that probably is not being talked about enough is the situation at first base. While Jared Walsh had a breakout season slashing .293/.324/.971 along with nine homers, the 108 plate appearances is a sample size still brings out a lot of question marks. Former Angel great Darin Erstad could easily solve these issues.
Erstad is known as one of the Angel greats, most notably making the final out of the 2002 World Series run. He was also known for being a Mike Scioscia-type player, somebody that plays hard and grinds out every at-bat. While he had a fantastic career with the Halos, Erstad took his game to a totally different level in 2000. He led the league in hits with 240, while it was helped by also leading in both plate-apperances (747) and at-bats (676). His .409 OBP showed the efficiency that helped gather MVP votes that season.
An All-Time Angels great, Darin Erstad is the type of super utility player who would add to the current Angels offense.
That terrific season earned Erstad both a Silver Slugger and one of his three career Gold Gloves. While the production itself stands out as one of the Angels great individual seasons, Erstad’s versatility supports his spot on this team. As mentioned, the Angels great’s career earned him three Gold Gloves, and they were all at different positions (2000 in left field, 2002 in center field, and 2004 at first base). While none of them were in right field, where arguably the team’s biggest offensive weakness is, Erstad still has proven his flexibility in his defensive craft.
Additionally, having another player with a Batting Average over .300 who has good speed would slot perfectly in front of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. For many years it has been said that Trout would take great advantage of having more products in front of him, and having Erstad and David Fletcher would set the Angels slugger up for many more RBI opportunities.
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It is clear that the Angels still have a handful of needs going into the upcoming 2021 season. While the lack of moves has been somewhat frustrating, it is fun to look back on some of the teams’ great seasons and see how well they would fit into the current team.