The best Angels player to wear number 3

Los Angeles Angels v Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Angels v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels have had 31 different players wear the number 3 in their franchise history. That's among the most of any number. It's currently worn by Taylor Ward, who I believe will end up being the best to ever wear the number.

Ian Kinsler wore it during his half of a season in Anaheim. Brandon Wood wore it when he underperformed for the Angels. Current analyst Harold Reynolds wore it during his one season as an Angel and Orlando Palmeiro had some nice moments during his eight-year Angels career donning the number 3.

Despite all of the players who have worn the number, there hasn't been a clear superstar to ever wear number 3. The best player just so happens to be the first one to wear it.

Rick Reichardt is the best player to wear number 3 in Angels history.

Taylor Ward just had one of, if not the best season for an Angels player wearing number 3. He hit 23 home runs, had an .833 OPS, and a 135 OPS+. He would've been even better had he not hurt himself barreling into a wall and I expect him to be better in 2023.

With that said, Ward doesn't have the longevity that someone like Rick Reichardt, the first Angel to wear number 3, has.

Reichardt got his first taste of big league action in 1964 and he wore number 20. He recorded just six hits in 37 at-bats and changed his number the following season. From 1965-1970, Reichardt was a consistently solid presence in the Angels lineup.

The 1966 season was the first one that saw Reichardt get consistent at-bats and he had arguably his best season as an Angel. He slashed .288/.367/.480 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI despite only playing in 89 games. He had a 145 OPS+ and he was so good that despite being limited to 361 plate appearances, he received some MVP votes, finishing 21st on the AL ballot.

Reichardt had a 121 OPS+ from 1966-1969, a really solid four-year stretch. He did not make an all-star team or win any major awards, but he was just a nice player for the Angels.

Reichardt ranks 34th among Angels position players in bWAR and in the top 40 or 50 in virtually every major statistical category. He wasn't a star, but he was a good player.

I expect Taylor Ward to be on this list in a couple of seasons, but for now, Reichardt should be recognized.

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