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Chili Davis - Top 100 Angels #48

Two tours of duty for the hit machine.



Outfielder Chili Davis did two tours of duty in Anaheim. HeE signed as a free agent for three seasons with the Angels before the 1988 season. He went to Minnesota as a free agent for two years, won a ring with the Twins in the first and re-signed with the Halos for 1993. He then was traded after the 1996 season to the Royals (infamously bringing Mark Gubicza to the club for a terrible stint as a pitcher only to later haunt us as a broadcaster). He ended up winning two more rings with the Yankees in 1998 and 99.

All that playing time gave him plenty of Angels records. His 4,031 Plate Appearances ranks ninth most by an Angels player. His On Base Percentage (.365) and Slugging % (.464) both rank in the franchise's all time top ten, but most impressive is when you combine the two - his .829 OPS ranks sevnh best in club hisotry but many of the men on that chart have less than half the Plate Appearances of Chili. Only one player, Time Salmon, has more PA with the club than him.

Chili is also in the club Top Ten for some counting stats - Home Runs (156, 6th), RBI (618, 5th), Hits (973, 10th), Total Bases (1,620, 8th) and Runs Scored (520, 10th).

Wait a minute, why is a guy with these numbers ranked only 48th-best in club history? Well...

Chili ranks 10th in outs made (2,691) 8th in strikeouts (713) and 5th in GIDP - he grounded into 108 double plays. He started 586 games as Designated Hitter, just a squeak behind Brian Downing's 598 games as a DH. When calculating a player's all around value, Designated Hitter does pull one down a lot. It is notable that the Angels have not had a consistent DH of more than two seasons since Chili's last year. But all of this is to really ignore one salient point. Chili was a terrible outfielder. Based on number of chances given to field the ball, Chili may be the worst defender in the history of the franchise.

How bad was he? His Defensive Wins Above Replacement was in neagtive territory. How negative? Negative 9.4 dWAR. -9.4 is just a pit from whence it is impossible to climb out. Had Chili just been ensconced as the DH for his entire tenure as an Angel he would certainly rank higher on this list considering his offensive numbers. But the games lost on his watch in the field render him fortunate to be in the top 50.