The best Angels WAR season by a left fielder in franchise history

Darin Erstad throws
Darin Erstad throws / Justin Sullivan/GettyImages

When Los Angeles Angels think of the best left fielder to ever play for the franchise, Garret Anderson is a name that comes to mind. Anderson is an all-time great in Angels history, but he actually played a good amount of time in center field to start his career.

With Anderson in center, the Angels had Darin Erstad playing primarily in left field after transitioning from first base. We know that the two were flipped when the Angels won the World Series in 2002, but in 2000, Erstad was primarily a left fielder when he had the best WAR season of any Angels position player not named Mike Trout.

Erstad is perhaps known for his play in center field and at first base more than left field, but the best WAR season of his career and of any Angels left fielder came with Erstad playing left field primarily in 2000.

The best LA Angels WAR season from a left fielder belongs to Darin Erstad in 2000

Darin Erstad got his first taste of the majors in 1996 and primarily saw action in center field and at first base. He saw some time sparingly in left field and even played there part-time in the 1999 season, but once the Angels signed Mo Vaughn to play first base ahead of the 2000 season, Erstad made the move full-time to the outfield. He settled into left field with Anderson manning center.

It's safe to say that the adjustment to left field was no problem for Erstad who was at his best in 2000. The Angels legend slashed .355/.409/.541 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI in 157 games, leading the league in plate appearances, at-bats, and hits. He even set a career-high with 28 stolen bases as well.

Erstad was an all-star and took home a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for his absurdly great season. He topped it off by finishing eighth in the AL MVP balloting, putting the finishing touches on one of, if not the best season an Angels leadoff hitter has ever had.

Erstad wound up putting together the highest bWAR season of any Angels position player not named Mike Trout and the sixth-highest of any Angels position player, racking up 8.3 bWAR. It was one of the more complete seasons an Angel has had as Erstad excelled in just about every facet of the game, and it's a season that honestly deserves more recognition.