The Angels had seven players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, including five first-timers in Francisco Rodríguez, Jered Weaver, John Lackey, Huston Street and Mike Napoli. Of the seven, only Rodríguez, Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter received enough votes to remain on the ballot in 2024. The results of the balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were announced on MLB Network on Tuesday night.
Abreu appeared on 60 of the 389 submitted ballots (15.4 percent), while Rodríguez received 42 votes (10.8 percent) and Hunter 27 votes (6.9 percent), exceeding the threshold of 5 percent needed to remain eligible next year. The trio of former Angels were among the 16 players who will remain on the ballot in 2024, with Scott Rolen the lone player elected. Rolen will be joined in the Class of 2023 by Fred McGriff, who was a unanimous selection by the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee in December. They will be enshrined on July 25 in Cooperstown.
Rodríguez electrified the baseball world as a 20-year-old rookie in 2002, when he dominated hitters out of the bullpen throughout the postseason with a high-90s fastball and nasty curveball en route to the Angels winning the World Series.
Of his 16 years in the big leagues, Rodríguez spent his first seven seasons with the Angels before spending three seasons with the Mets, five with the Brewers, one with the Orioles and his final two with the Tigers. He was a six-time All-Star, a two-time Rolaids Relief Man Award winner and he finished in the Top 5 in American League Cy Young Award voting three times. K-Rod’s peak season came in 2008, when earned a sixth-place finish in AL MVP voting after setting the MLB single-season saves record with 62 to go with a 2.24 ERA and 77 strikeouts with the Angels.
Rodríguez led the league in saves three times and amassed 437 saves over his career, which stands as the fourth most in MLB history behind only Mariano Rivera (652), Trevor Hoffman (601) and Lee Smith (478). His 948 Major League appearances are also the most by a Venezuelan-born pitcher. In 26 career postseason appearances, Rodríguez posted a 2.95 ERA with three saves and 49 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings.
Weaver, who did not receive a vote, was selected 12th overall by the Angels in the 2004 MLB Draft. The right-hander spent his first 11 big league seasons with the club before finishing his career with the Padres in 2017. A longtime Angels ace, Weaver was a three-time All-Star and finished in the top five in AL Cy Young Award voting three times, including a second-place finish in 2011 to Justin Verlander after going 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and 198 strikeouts over 235 2/3 innings with the Halos.
Weaver went 150-98 with a 3.63 ERA and 1,621 strikeouts in 2,067 1/3 innings from 2006-17. He etched himself in Angels history on May 2, 2012, against the Twins at Angel Stadium, when he tossed the 10th no-hitter in club history and went on to finish third in AL Cy Young Award balloting that year.
While the Angels never advanced past the AL Championship Series during his time with the club, Weaver was a solid postseason contributor. He posted a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 postseason innings, going 2-1 in his seven appearances (four starts).
Lackey received one vote. He was an integral part of the Angels' World Series-winning rotation in 2002, finishing fourth in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting in a season that saw him go 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 18 starts. His best year with the Halos, though, came in 2007. Lackey’s 3.01 ERA was the lowest in the AL that season, as he went 19-9 with 179 strikeouts over 224 innings pitched to finish third in Cy Young voting.
Lackey pitched 15 years in the Majors, winning 188 games and posting a 3.92 ERA with 2,294 strikeouts in 2,840 1/3 innings. His first eight seasons came with the Angels before heading to Boston for four seasons, St. Louis for two and finishing with the Cubs for two seasons. Lackey won a World Series with three teams and is part of a rare group of pitchers who won a game against all 30 MLB clubs.
Street, who spent the final four seasons of his career with the Angels (2014-17), received one vote. He earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2005 with the A’s and was an All-Star in '12 and ‘14. Street ranks 20th on the all-time saves leaderboard with 324 and posted a 2.95 ERA with 665 strikeouts over 680 innings with the A’s, Rockies, Padres and Angels from 2005-17.
Napoli, who also received one vote, was an All-Star with the Rangers in 2012 and a career .246/.346/.475 hitter with 267 homers, 224 doubles and 744 RBIs in 1,392 games. He played the first five seasons of his career with the Angels from 2006-10, slashing .251/.346/.485 with 92 homers, 79 doubles and 249 RBIs in 506 games. Having reached the postseason in eight of his 12 big league seasons, Napoli hit .228 with eight homers, nine doubles and 30 RBIs in 66 career postseason games.
Abreu (8.6 percent in 2022) and Hunter (5.3 percent in 2022) gained slight traction among BBWAA voters since last year. Hunter will enter his fourth year on the ballot, while Abreu enters his fifth.