The Angels boast the $240 million dollar man Albert Pujols in their lineup, they have found the emergence of Mike Trumbo hitting Trumbomb’s into the rocks in center field, and they have the for sure rookie of the year and possible MVP in his first (mostly) full season in the majors in Mike Trout—yet they still find themselves in 3rd place in their division.
Check Out Number 22. . .
They might find themselves back behind Seattle in the standings though if it wasn’t for their ace, and our number 21st ranked person in our Top 25 in LA Today, Jered Weaver. Sure, so Anaheim isn’t really LA no matter how many times Arte Moreno says the team name “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” But Weaver deserves some serious recognition, even if he isn’t as sexy a name as some of the other players in the Majors, or in our fair city.
He is in the middle of his second consecutive Cy Young caliber season. If he hadn’t hit the DL for a stretch he certainly would have been the AL All Star starter. But despite being on the DL, Weaver has 15 wins on the season to only 2 losses, a 2.22 ERA, and .920 WHIP all of which are league leading. He also threw a no hitter on May 2nd at home against the Twins. His strikeouts and innings pitched are down because of the DL stint, but he is the frontrunner for the Cy today. And despite the big names that make up the rest of the pitching staff, Weaver is the only one who has performed consistently.
Furthermore, he is an Angels home grown talent, in as much he was drafted by the organization and not obtained through free agency. He fell to the Angels at the 12th pick in the 2005 draft when other teams did not want to sign him because they were worried of how much it would take to sign him, considering the reported numbers agent Scott Boras and Weaver were asking for.
But since then Weaver, has been nothing but faithful to the Angels over his whole career. He was slated to be a free agent at the end of 2012, but signed a five-year contract extension last August to remain with the quasi-Los Angeles club.
A big reason Weaver stayed, and why he makes Top 25 in LA as well, is he is an LA guy. He has lived in SoCal is whole life. He went to Simi Valley High School, and then was a Dirt Bag at Long Beach State. He was rated the collegiate player of the year in 2004 there. He does not have the glitz and flare of a Hollywood actor, and a Jered Weaver press conference or post game interview isn’t a SportsCenter worthy event—but Weaver is absolutely one of the top 5 pitchers in the majors, and he is LA. He is LA born and raised.
That’s why he is #21 on our Top 25 Most Important People in LA Today.