#95 - JUAN BENIQUEZ, OF
Juan Ranked #75 in our Post-2008 Top 100 Angels list (LINK)
Noted baseball analyst Matt Welch sponsor's the Baseball Reference Page for Juan Beniquez and states there:
The best 4th outfielder in Angels history, and one of the only MLB players to learn how to hit at age 33.
In the post-2005 ranking of #75 all time Angel linked above, Welch points out that after a two seasons as a benchwarming veteran fourth outfielder, the presence of Rod Carew must have been what inspired Beniquez to level his bat flat above the plate. The resulting three seasons saw him mash above .300 and get more playing time as a result.
His .336 Batting Average in 1984 ranks fourth in single season franchise history and his .293 BA is sixth for Angels with more than 1,500 PA (although Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will likely surpass the 1500 PA mark as Halos in 2014 so watch that drop to #8, but still impressive) and second best in club history when he left as a free agent after the 1985 season.
Outside of batting average, though, is there much else? An On-Base % of .342 is in the club's top 25 all time and an OPS of .739 ranks 31st in club lore. But with just over 1500 Plate Appearances - oh so many games spent on the bench as well as being here during the strike-shortened 1981 season, it is difficult to rank him higher. But he is still a top 100 Angel, even in our era of shrugging at the once-glamorous Batting Average stat.