#70 - PETER BOURJOS, CF
The case to be made for Peter Bourjos as one of the all time Angels greats is slightly damning against Mike Scioscia and the front office. Let's stat with the easily provable assertion that he is the best outfield defender of his generation. That he was benched even one time in his career in favor of J.B. Shuck let alone Vernon Wells is an abomination. But Such is Pete's lot in his Angels career so far.
The Angels knew what they were getting when the promoted Peter Bourjos from AAA to the bigs in August of 2010. Torii Hunter calmly moved over to RF to make way for the rookie, a big gesture in the era of tremendous athlete egos. He was a legend with the glove before his first appearance and quickly made everyone understand why that was no empty gesture form Torii - Fleet Pete made his pitchers better - he got to balls that nobody else did. He made flyball pitchers ace-worthy. He became that rare young player who is an immediate favorite of the casual fan, the hardcore fan and the sabermetric set.
In 2011, his glove did plenty more talking but his bat and basepath speed came alive. He had 136 hits as the team's everyday Centerfielder, stole 22 bases, hit 26 doubles and led the American League with 11 triples. What did his 116 OPS+ season of 552 Plate Appearances in 147 Games with a 5.1 WAR get him?
It got him benched. The need to play Vernon Wells in 2012 plus finding spots for Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales pushed Bourjos onto the bench. When he finally got a chance to be a full timer in 2013 he had a series of injuries.
What the future holds for him has yet to be determined as of this writing but he has already made his mark in Anaheim. He is a Top 100 Angel, is a fan favorite and has been a pleasure to watch play the game.