#5 Garret Anderson, OF
According to the Hall of Fame Monitor, Garret Anderson is the 308th greatest batter in baseball history and is more than halfway to Cooperstown, statistically speaking. Considering that he only turns 34 this June 30, there could be a number of fine offensive seasons ahead of him.
But even if the arthritis gets the better of him, nobody has done what he has done in his (California, Anaheim, Los Angeles of Anaheim) Angels uniform. Angel fan Brent Carter was our only Top 40 ballotteer who chose Garret as #1, so we'll hand the microphone over to him...
For starters, G.A' s incredible career is still going and he will inevitably add on to his already very impressive, potentially Hall of Fame numbers. Only one player in all of Major League Baseball has more hits than G.A. in the ten year period from 1995 - 2005. That is Derek Jeter with 1,936 hits and he is well on his way to being enshrined at Cooperstown. Over that same period Garret had 1,924 hits (only 12 fewer) and his power numbers are much more impressive.
As for a potential place in Cooperstown, it appears that his health may be the biggest question mark. Certainly moving to DH would extend his already great career a couple of years and allow him to add to his resume. Garret became the All-time Angel hit leader with a game winner against the Dodgers last season. In his Angel career he has 1,929 hits, 224 HR, 1,043 RBI and an amazing 403 2B's.
Since Garret has always been an essentially reclusive star who doesn't self-promote with commercials or excessive interviews, he fails to get the national recognition of other great players. Fortunately, this began to change with his game winning hit in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series and his subsequent hitting exploits on the big stage of the 2003 All-Star Game in Chicago where he won the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game MVP honors on consecutive nights.
On top of all this, it has always seemed that the majority of G.A's HR's and RBI have come in pivotal situations that either tied the game or put the Angels ahead. He hasn't padded his stats with a lot of meaningless production in blow-out games.
Garret has too many Angel records to retabulate here, suffice to say that he is far from simply a King of Kounting stats that multiply simply by his showing up for work. His career .473 Slug% is 4th best for an Angel, and his .298 career batting average is 2nd highest in franchise history. And of course, no discussion of G.A. is complete without noting that his thin `stache is as cool a look as a major leaguer has ever had.