Every MLB division has had its fair share of ups and downs. The American League West Division has one of the best teams in baseball in the Houston Astros. It also has the team with the longest playoff drought in the Seattle Mariners.
In this article we will look at each AL West team’s best player of all time.
Texas Rangers: Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez played for the Rangers from 1991-1992 and was an All Star in all but two of those seasons. During the 1990s Rodriguez was the undisputed best catcher in baseball.
Rodriguez won 10 straight Gold Glove awards from 1992-2002. Rodriguez also won the Silver Slugger award six times while in Texas. Rodriguez won the AL MVP award in 1999 and would often receive multiple votes every year.
In 13 seasons with the Texas Rangers Rodriguez averaged a .304 ERA. Some may argue that Nolan Ryan is the best Ranger of all time but Rodriguez is not only the greatest Ranger but also arguably the greatest catcher of all time.
Seattle Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey entered the league in 1989 at age 19 and was the teams star slugger until he left the team in 1999. Griffey led the league in home runs four times. The most he ever hit in one season was 56 in 1997.
It’s hard to believe that the last time the Mariners made the playoffs some of the new MLB players weren’t even born yet. The last time the Mariners were relevant was the late 90s and Griffey was the AL MVP in 1997.
Griffey took the floundering franchise and led them to the playoffs twice. Unfortunately for the Mariners the core around Griffey was never good enough to get them farther than the ALCS.
Oakland Athletics: Rickey Henderson
The great Rickey Henderson played on and off for the A’s four times. From 1979-1984, 1989-1992, 1994 and 1995-1996. Many say that Henderson is the greatest leadoff hitter in the history of baseball.
With the A’s alone Henderson was a 10 time All Star. Henderson’s nickname was “The Man of Steal” because he has over 850 career stolen bases and has led the AL in stolen bases 12 times.
Henderson played for many teams in his career, eight to be exact. However he will always be remembered as an A.
Houston Astros: Nolan Ryan
Pitcher Nolan Ryan was also a MLB journeyman like Henderson. Ryan played for the Astros from 1980-1988. During his time in Houston Ryan was an All Star and in multiple years he received votes for the Cy Young award.
While in Houston Ryan had the league’s best ERA twice. Ryan also received votes for the NL MVP award in 1981. While Ryan didn’t play in Houston very long he still left a lasting impact.
Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout
Outfielder Mike Trout is probably the only unanimous best player on this list for his team. Trout has been with the Angels since 2011 and is already the franchises all time WAR leader.
Trout has led the league in runs four times and has been an All Star in all but two of his MLB seasons. Trout has been the AL MVP a whopping three times in 2014, 2016 and 2019.
Trout has also won the Silver Slugger award eight times. Trout is the undisputed best player in Angels history but he may have some competition with Shohei Ontani showing up in 2021.