I was rustling through a stack of papers in my closet that had to do with baseball the other day, and one page in particular caught my eye. A couple years ago I had written down the lineup of the Angels who had played the most games at each position during the franchise’s history. It said Bob Boone had played catcher most often for the Angels, and Wally Joyner had played the most games at first base for the club. I wondered if Howie Kendrick had surpassed Bobby Grich as the Angel with the most games at second base since I had written the list, or if Mike Trout had passed up Gary Pettis yet as the Angel with the most games at center field under his belt.
And then I wondered where this Angel all-time team would sit when I compared it’s total OPS+ with that of the other teams in the AL West. I thought they might have a higher total than those of the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers/Washington Senators, but there would be no way they could out-OPS+ the Athletics who have been a Major League team for 115 years, right?
Only one way to find out. A visit to baseball-reference.com and a little tapping on my calculator had the answers I was looking for. Here are the results, from the least amount of total OPS+ to the greatest:
Houston Astros #5
[table id=209 /]
Washington Senators/Texas Rangers #4
[table id=210 /]
Seattle Mariners #3
[table id=211 /]
Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics #2
[table id=212 /]
Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels #1
[table id=213 /]
Wow. First of all, I am shocked to see that the Angels finish on top over the A’s, who have three Hall of Famers on their all-time games played roster and have had much more time to stuff their lineup with high OPS+ players. Second of all, I was shocked that Ichiro’s OPS+ was only 113. I expected it to be at least in the 120s. Third, I am going to have to get to know Frank Howard. The dude was a beast, and I have barely heard of him. Fourth, I wonder how this all-time Angel team stacks up against the rest of the American League.