The Random Angels

The Angels are once again making like their namesake and defying natural laws. Looking over the names that have taken plate appearances for Los Angeles of Anaheim over the past month is a bewildering experience when combined with their above .500 record and second place rank. Let’s take a look at a few of the most random cameos on the 2010 Angels.

Michael Ryan

The last time Ryan appeared in a major league game prior to this season was 2005 with the Twins. He was teammates with Torii Hunter then, too. Of course he was also teammates with Dustan Mohr, Bobby Kielty, Lew Ford, and Jason Tyner at various points. Truthfully, he wasn’t good then (.265/.313/.408 over 285 plate appearances) and he’s not good now (.205/.220/.308 over 41 plate appearances). Ryan spent the first few weeks of the season in the minors with the Angels Triple-A team, hitting .331/.383/.500 after multiple seasons bouncing from Triple-A team to Triple-A team. He really doesn’t belong in the majors.

Kevin Frandsen

This one isn’t too surprising. Frandsen always seemed destined to be shunned by the Giants and when the Red Sox acquired him in March the collective droves of Fransend supporters responded by tilting their neck, puffing their cheeks, and sounding “mmmmmhmm”. Four weeks later the Angels plucked Frandsen off waivers. He’s been decent for the Angels given his cost; so far a below average UZR but above average hitting in a little over 100 plate appearances while walking more than he has struck out.

Paul McAnulty

Another former National League West player who went through Boston’s clutches before joining the Angels. If you love short and delightfully plump outfielders who bat left-handed and walk while striking out quite a bit and not hitting for a ton of power in their major league stint, then McAnulty is your man.

Cory Aldridge

This is the ultimate “Huh?” play. Aldridge debuted with the Braves in 2001 as a 22 year old. He played in eight games, recording five plate appearances and zero hits with four strikeouts. The Braves didn’t call him back up in 2002 or in 2003. In 2004 he left the Braves for the Royals. He didn’t appear in a game for the Royals in 2005. No such luck in 2006 with the White Sox or Mets, either. He lost his phone in 2007. Things got complicated in 2008 when he returned to Kansas City. And in 2009 he decided to move out to the west coast where, hey, he finally got the call. In two games, he has recorded six at-bats, zero hits, zero walks, and a strikeout. Someone let Aldridge get a hit so he doesn’t have to play until he’s 40 to get another shot.

Reggie Willits

This one isn’t so much a shock as a reminder. Willits is essentially the baseball version of rapper Chingy. Broke onto the scene hot with one good skill and then was completely forgotten as soon as the next catchy tune came along. Willits of course debuted in 2006 as a gritty reserve outfielder with a ridiculous ability to grind out walks. He couldn’t hit for power and despite his speed he wasn’t an overly good defender. Still, he was a switch-hitter and when he received more than 500 plate appearances in 2007 it became apparent that he fit the Angels way – mostly because every announcer would mention his specialty. Since 2008 began Willits has barely received 300 plate appearances, hitting .214/.310/.245 with eight extra base hits and eight stolen bases. Safe to say, Willits didn’t hit the jackpot after all.

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7 Responses to “The Random Angels”

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  1. Zach says:

    Terrific Chingy reference – one the all time greats

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  2. matt w says:

    Aldridge is so random that the Player Search page thinks he’s two different people.

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  3. Paul says:


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  4. Michael Lorri Scioscia says:

    No offense to my guys, Willits, Ryan, and Aldridge but our team actually needs more capable guys like Izzy(Maicer Izturis) or at least closer to or above average replacement level complementary players to support Nappy(Mike Napoli), Aybar, Howie, and Torri. Please Mr.Reagins, all I ask for is better guys to play Angels baseball(I know this is Fangraphs but I’m just trying to keep things in context with regards to my team).

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  5. mcneo says:

    You description of Michael Ryan, being unfamiliar with the Angels, didn’t sound too bad. If a guy can hit .330 in the minors with a .380 OBP, surely he can do ok in the majors as a short term solution.

    I checked his page out. He’s 33 years old. He’s only been successfull the last two seasons in triple A, and was bad before that.

    So, you’re right, he shouldn’t be in the majors. I hope he’s been investing his money, because he won’t retire as a millionare former baseball player, but he could be able to retire at the age of 34 even if he’s just making league minimum right now. I’m younger and probably could be ready to “help” the Angels after a couple of seasons in AAA, maybe they’ll give me a shot?

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  6. Alireza says:

    Willits is such an “Angel player” that he gets underrated. The utter lack of power and refusal to swing at even very juicy strikes doesn’t help, but he does have on base skills, is extremely fast, an efficient base stealer and has a good throwing arm. Also, he has been hurt by ridiculously low BABIP numbers despite his speed. I would guess that a lack of playing time, which is totally understandable given the ability of other Angels OFers to hit, is a major contributor, as is all the bunting he does.

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