#33 BOBBY KNOOP - 2B (1964-69)
In Knoop's 2005 Top 100 Angel Essay please read the comments where your author gets politely SCHOOLED by the YETI and the Welch and The Chronicler. Well, he is eleven points higher in this roundup, fellas, what say you all now?
Post-2005 Top 100 Ranking: 44
Franchise Win Shares Rank: 30 (78 Win Shares)
In perusing Bobby Knoop's offensive stats, we are talking about a Top 100 Angel only because this franchise has only tabulated 48 seasons in its existence.
But defensively, new stats like Range Factor, especially when compared to the league average of its time... well we might be looking at one of the three best defenders at any position in franchise history. To compare, Knoop was better at Second Base with the glove than Gary Pettis or Devon White were with theirs in Centerfield.
Looking at Andy Messersmith's dominant Angels seasons, Dean Chance's Cy Young and an all-around great pitching staff year in and year out, one has to acknowledge that great defenders do a great pitcher make. When one of the best has your back, you both have the chance to be listed high up on the Top 100 List.
Bobby Knoop played 801 games of stellar defense at 2B for the Angels, surpassed only Adam Kennedy and Bobby Grich. He won 3 Gold Gloves and was an All Star, receiving MVP votes after the 1965 and '66 seasons.