#79 - DAVE FROST - Pitcher
This is the first Top 100 Angels list of ours that Dave has made. Credit the development of WAR to allow soem of the cream to rise to the top. Read on...
The Angels traded Bobby Bonds to the White Sox for three players. Pitcher Chris Knapp was a bust, who, combining playing time allotted with performance is arguably the worst Angels player ever - we are talking Jeff Mathis levels of terrible. The trade is famous for being the one that brought Brian Downing to the Halos - second only to Nolan Ryan's acquisition as the swap that brought the most raw statistical gravy to the club.
The third player acquired was pitcher Dave Frost.
Frost pitched in parts of four seasons for the Angels but really only had one full year. He spent a lot of 1978 in the minors before wowing the team in the ten starts he got, and he was hurt for a lot of 1980 and in 1981 the players' strike curtailed any semblance of a possible comeback he could make.
But in 1979 he was great, throwing 239+ innings with the best ERA+ (114) on the pitching staff of the team's first division winner. While his 107 strikeouts were more than doubled by teammate Nolan Ryan, his K/BB ratio was 1.39 to Ryan's 1.96. Ryan was flashier but Frost was a hair less sloppy when it came to holding down the opposition.
In 78 and 79 Dave accrued 7.4 Wins Above Replacement. His lousy 1980 and 81 shaved some of this off and he was let go, signed with Kansas City, was terrible in 1982 and hung it up for good. But when you see the replays of the 1979 season with Dick Enberg intoning "For the first time in nineteen years the Angels celebrate on the field" understand that the team's first American League Western Division title could not have been won without the workhorse effort of Dave Frost - and the statistics back it up.