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No. 87: Greatest Angels of All-Time: Juan Rivera

A great career... when healthy

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Juan Rivera

Time with Angels: 2005-2010

Stats: .277/.325/.464/.789, 92 HR, 337 RBI, 566 H, 102 2B, 107 OPS+

Baseball Reference WAR: 7.2

FanGraphs WAR: 5.5

Combined WAR: 6.35

Juan Rivera spent six of his 12 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels. He came over in 2005 after spending time with the Yankees and Expos. During his time with the Angels, Rivera was always productive. Although, it was when he was healthy. In his six seasons with the club, he averaged 99 games a season.

He had a pretty decent first year with the Angels, though injuries limited him to only 106 games. Rivera still hit 15 home runs, drove in 59 and had an OPS of .770.

The following season was his best, though he only played in 124 games. He had a slash of .310/.362/.525/.887, which aside from his on-base percentage, were all career-highs for Rivera. He hit 23 homers, drove in 85 and had 27 doubles. His OPS+ of 126 was also a career-high.

Over the course of the second half, you could make the case that Rivera was the best hitter in the American League. From June 21 through September 28, he hit .341 with an OPS of .965. During those 81 games he started, he hit 18 home runs and drove in 62. Over the course of a full season he would’ve been on pace for 35+ home runs and 120+ RBI.

After that great campaign, Rivera played in only 103 games over the next two seasons. He hit only .251 and had an OPS of .722.

He bounced back very nicely after missing so much time, as he played in 138 games in 2009, the most he’d play in a season for the Angels. Rivera hit .287/.332/.478/.810 with 25 home runs and 88 RBI. His 152 hits were the most he’d have in a season throughout his career.

Rivera’s best stretch that season came from July 1 through August 1. He hit .368/.411/.632/1.043 with five homers and 15 RBI. His bat was helping out the Angels, as they won 65 percent of their games during his hot stretch.

2010 would be Rivera’s final season with the Angels. Injuries cost him games, as he played in only 124. Yet again, his numbers took a hit due to his injuries. He hit only .252 and posted a .721 OPS.

The following offseason, Rivera was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Here’s where Rivera ranks among Angels hitters who have played at least 595 games with the franchise:

  • 92 home runs (20th)
  • 270 runs (32nd)
  • 566 hits (34th)
  • 337 RBI (25th)
  • .277 AVG (15th)
  • .464 slugging % (7th)
  • .789 OPS (13th)

Get caught up on the rest of the “All-Time Angels” lists!