Erick Aybar, 2011
Stats: .279/.322/.421/.743, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 155 H, 110 OPS+, .325 wOBA, 107 wRC+
Awards: Gold Glove Award
Baseball Reference WAR: 4.4
FanGraphs WAR: 3.8
Combined WAR: 4.1
For the first 10 seasons of his career, Erick Aybar suited up for the Angels. For the most part, he had a solid and respectable career. He had some really good years with the Angels, but the one we’ll be looking back at today was his 2011 campaign.
Defensively it was arguably his best season with the Angels. He had a .980 fielding percentage at shortstop and won a Gold Glove Award, the only of his career.
Aybar stole 30 bases that season, the ninth most in the American League. He’s one of only 14 players in franchise history to steal at least 30 bases in a single season.
Aybar had both a really good start to the season and a really good finish to the season. From March 31 through May 15, Aybar hit .351 with an .861 OPS. He had 40 hits through the first 27 games, including two homers and 14 runs driven in.
Over the next 81 games, Aybar would hit only .225 with a .614 OPS. During that span he hit four home runs and walked only 14 times. On August 20, Aybar turned his season around, and was one of the hottest hitters in the American League to close out the season.
During the remaining 34 games, Aybar hit .350 and had an OPS of .963. He hit three homers while driving in 16 runs and scoring 23. He walked more than he struck out, and even had the same number of doubles (9) as he did strikeouts.
He was named AL Player of the Week on September 18, 2011, after a seven-game stretch where he went 14-for-27 with three home runs and four doubles.