LA Angels: 3 pleasant surprises in the 2021 season

Jared Walsh, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jared Walsh, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Raisel Iglesias, LA Angels
Raisel Iglesias, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Angels have had a plenty disappointing season this year, but it hasn’t been all bad.

The Angels still feature many talented ballplayers, and have found ways to surprise in this league even without Mike Trout.

This team has a lot of fight in them, and still hasn’t given up on playing for Joe Maddon, or themselves.

No. 3 pleasant surprise for the 2021 LA Angels: Raisel Iglesias’ career year

Raisel Iglesias was a big addition for us this past offseason. We knew that, and expected him to perform.

We didn’t, however, expect him to pitch at the level he did. Iglesias was lights out on the mound this year, and had his best season ever.

He has a 2.63 ERA (all stats in this article are as of September 21st), which is just a little over his career-best 2.38. To have a 2.63 in the American League is a huge deal. He also has the highest K/9 rate of his career at 13.3, and it’s not even close to the 12.1 that used to be his best.

He also has the lowest BB/9 rate of his career at 1.7. He’s on pace to breaking his own saves record, only needing two more to tie (he’s currently at 32). Finding ways to perform at this level in his first season in the AL, where it’s harder for closers to pitch, is very impressive.

I mean, he’s perfected his fastball to the point where his peers rank it second in the AL behind only the great Aroldis Chapman’s iconic fastball.