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Garret Anderson

Garret Anderson

Position(s):
LF, OF, CF, DH, RF, 1B
Born:
June 30, 1972
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 3"
Weight:
225 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-27-1994 with CAL
Allstar Selections:
2002 SS, 2003 AsMVP, 2003 SS


Anderson started the 1995 season in Triple-A, but was called up to the Angels in late May when Tony Phillips moved to third base. The left-handed LA native quickly impressed Anaheim fans with a fine performance at the plate (.321, 16, 70), finishing second only to Minnesota's Marty Cordova in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. However, by the end of the season opposing pitchers had learned to exploit Anderson's main faults -- namely, impatience and a fatal willingness to chase bad pitches. After a red-hot July (he was named AL Player of the Month) Garret struck out 22 times in the month of August; he ended the season with 65 whiffs against just 19 walks.

Such troubling strikeout-to-walk ratios have been the norm throughout Anderson's young career. Nevertheless, he has remained a productive player at the plate; his career batting average over his first six seasons stood at .300. Defensively, Anderson has good speed but a relatively weak arm. In his rookie season, Anderson led all Angels outfielders with five errors (third-most in the AL) but by 1997 he had raised his fielding percentage to .992. Normally a left fielder, Anderson started 120 games in right in 1998 while filling in for the injured Tim Salmon and was moved to center field in 1999 when Jim Edmonds began the season on the DL.

Critics sometimes point to Anderson's even-keeled approach as being symptomatic of a lack of focus. In August 1998, manager Terry Collins had benched him for not running out a routine grounder, and by the start of the 1999 season Anderson was regarded as the "fourth outfielder" behind Salmon, Edmonds, and Darin Erstad. Nevertheless, Anderson came through in the clutch when injuries ravaged the Angels, and after a fine season (.303, 21 HR, 80 RBIs) he was named the team MVP.

Over the next eight seasons, he accumulated at least 600 at bats every year, breaking 90 RBIs and 20 home runs five times while compiling a batting average near .300.

While he was hitting home runs in 2000, he wasn't taking many walks. He is one of only seven players who have concluded a 30-homer season with more homers than walks (35 HR, 24 BB), the others being Alfonso Soriano (39-23 in 2002), Ryan Braun (34-29 in 2007), Pudge Rodriguez (35-24 in 1999), Joe Crede (30-28 in 2006), Javy Lopez (43-33 in 2003), and Jose Guillen (31-24 in 2003).

In 2002, when the Angels won their first World Series championship, Garret finished fourth in the MVP voting after compiling a .306 average with 29 home runs and 123 runs batted in. Anderson also scored a career-high 93 runs, however the fact he has never scored 100 or more in a season is a result of his main weakness as a player: an inability to take walks and thus a low on-base percentage. Anderson had a similarly strong performance in 2003, he became an American League All-Star. That All-Star weekend, he stole the show by becoming the Home Run Derby Champion and voted the Most Valuable Player in the All Star Game, the first player to win both the Derby and All-Star MVP since Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1991

On April 13, 2004, Anderson agreed a $48 million, four-year contract extension through 2008. The deal included a team option for 2009 with a $3 million buyout.

Anderson began experiencing chronic ailments in 2004 that limited his playing time and production, including an arthritic condition and plantar fasciitis in his feet. In 2005, he began to see more regular time as a designated hitter to ease the wear and tear off of his body. Anderson's production in 2006 was roughly on par with his 2005 production, with both seasons seeing him hit 17 home runs and drive in at least 85 runs.

On August 21, 2007, he drove in a team-record 10 runs, including a grand slam and a three-run homer, in the Los Angeles Angels' 18-9 win over the New York Yankees. Anderson became the 13th player in Major League history to have 10 RBIs in a game. Anderson now holds the team record for grand slams with eight and RBIs in a game with ten. This performance has been part of a general resurgence in the second half of the 2007 season, a relief to Angels fans who may have wondered if Anderson's career was near its end after a mediocre, injury-plagued first half. Instead, Anderson has led the Majors in RBIs in the latter part of '07. On September 7, 2007, Anderson drove in a run on an RBI single, to set a franchise record for most consecutive games with an RBI with 11. The streak lasted for 12 games, during which time he drove in 22 runs.

On October 28, 2008, the Angels announced they would decline their $14 million option on Anderson's contract and exercised a $3 million buyout.

Atlanta Braves

On February 24, 2009, Anderson agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves for $2.5 million. On April 5, 2009, in the Braves first game of the season, Anderson collected the 2,369th hit of his career, and the first he had with any franchise besides the Angels.

On July 2, 2009, Anderson hit his first career pinch-hit home run of his till-then 14 season career.

On October 1, 2009, Anderson became the 89th player to reach 2,500 base hits, getting a single off of Washington Nationals pitcher Garrett Mock.

Los Angeles Dodgers

On March 3, 2010, Anderson agreed to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made the 25 man opening day roster as a reserve outfielder. In his first at bat with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he hit a pinch-hit single off Brendan Donnelly, who was a teammate of his with the Los Angeles Angels. His first home run with the Dodgers came on April 22, when he hit a pinch-hit 2-run homer against the Cincinnati Reds.

Anderson was designated for assignment August 8, 2010 after hitting only .181 in 155 at-bats and granted his release on August 10.

Retirement

On March 1, 2011, Anderson announced his retirement in a statement issued by the Angels.

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