1. 2002 Anaheim Angels
The 2002 Anaheim Angels were a truly great team. Their lineup was as deep and powerful as any that year, and their starting pitching held its own. The bullpen however, was a completely different animal.
Of the past three teams on this list, several factors have been associated with dominant ‘pens. Winning ball clubs, hard throwers, and at least three dominant late inning relievers. Well, the ’02 Angels had 5 different pitchers who possessed an ERA under 2.54, which helped spark their run to a World Series crown. Depth, talent, and late inning cheddar made the Angels bullpen a real weapon during their championship season.
Closer Troy Percival was the backbone of the ‘pen, notching 40 saves and a 1.92 ERA. Set up men Brendan Donnelly and Scot Shields both had ERA’s under 2.20, while middle innings men like Ben Weber and Lou Pote chipped in with solid seasons of their own.
The most remarkable thing about the ’02 Angels’ bullpen was a 20 year old kid named Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod allowed just 4 earned runs and struck out 28, in 18.2 innings of postseason work, and became a sensation with his high 90s heater and on field emotions.
The 2002 Angels had depth, plenty of talent, and it helped propel them to a championship, capturing our #1 ranking.