Major League Baseball owners sent a proposal to the MLB Players Association outlining the terms of what would be a shortened 2020 season. Putting aside for a moment the merits of the proposal, all the hurdles to clear, and whether or not the players are likely to approve the deal, the season could begin some time around July 4 and reportedly last 82 games.
Inspired by Rob Mains’ article at Baseball Prospectus about records set by players playing roughly half a season, I decided to look at the best Angels seasons in a number of categories, with the only caveat that the player couldn’t have played more than 82 games.
Tommy La Stella figures prominent in several categories, a tribute to his stellar All-Star season in 2019 but also a reminder of the fractured tibia that cost him three months. La Stella played only 80 games, and leads all Angels playing 82 games or less in hits (86), total bases (142), and runs scored (49), hitting .295/.346/.486 last year.
Here are the Angels’ single-season leaders in 82 games or less:
- Hits — Tommy La Stella, 86 (2019)
- Doubles — Howie Kendrick, 21 (2006)
- Triples — Six players, 4 (the last, Peter Bourjos in 2010)
- Home runs — Mike Napoli, 20 (2008)
- RBI — George Thomas, 59 (1961)
- Runs scored — La Stella, 49 (2019)
- Total bases — La Stella, 142 (2019)
- Stolen bases — Morris Nettles, 20 (1974)
- Walks — Eddie Yost, 56 (1961)
- Batting average* — Mark Teixeira, .358 (2008)
- On-base percentage* — Teixeira, .449 (2008)
- Slugging percentage* — Teixeira, .632 (2008)
- OPS* — Teixeira, 1.081 (2008)
- OPS+* — Teixeira, 181 (2008)
*minimum 200 plate appearances
- California Governor Gavin Newsom chimed in on MLB’s proposal, with five teams in the state, per the Associated Press: “We certainly look forward to Major League Baseball and all sports resuming. But again, the question is when and that will be determined on the basis of public health and public safety and the spread of this virus.”
- The 2021 World Baseball Classic is expected to be canceled, per Enrique Rojas of ESPN.
- It’s a tough battle for best Angels right fielder, between Vladimir Guerrero and Tim Salmon. Rhett Bollinger at MLB.com has more on the choice for the all-time franchise roster.