This is what it looks like when everyone is hitting. Enjoy it, because it rarely happens that the top of the lineup is in synch with the middle of the lineup, while still having the bottom of the lineup cleaning everything up.
I know it is just fourteen days, but have you ever seen a fourteen-day split table where every single hitter has a wRC+ > 100?
The long awaiting reawakening of Logan Forsythe has commenced.
Dodger fans have seen Dodger hot streaks before but I’m not sure they have seen this kind of hot streak. June started off with the normal June gloom but as the weather turned hot, so have the Dodger bats.
Fueled by the greatest collection of young talent since the Piazza/Mondesi/Karros days the Dodgers have been hitting home runs at a historic rate.
Using some advanced metrics over the last fourteen days:
- The Dodgers are first in ISO at .291
- The Dodgers are first in wOBA at .401
- The Dodgers are first in wRC+ at 153
- The Dodgers are first in Offensive WAR
- The Dodgers are even tied for second in Defensive WAR
In two words to describe how hot the Dodgers have been.
How about conventional statistics?
- They are first in home runs
- They are first in runs scored
- They are 2nd in RBI
- They are tied for 2nd in OBP
- They are first in slug
- They are first in OPS
With Cody Bellinger well on his way to leading the 2017 team in home runs, I thought it would be a good time to look at every single LAD single-season home run leader.
Several LAD have led their team in home runs four times. Frank Howard, Ron Cey, and Pedro Guerrero, but only Mike Piazza has done it five times.
Billy Grabarkewitz was the closest thing to a shortstop leading the team but many of 1970 appearances came as 3rd baseman.
Charlie Neal, Davey Lopes, and Jeff Kent are the only 2nd baseman to do the trick.
John Roseboro was joined by Yazmani Grandal last year as the only catchers to lead the team in home runs.
The best bar bet in Los Angeles for forty years was Len Gabrielson leading the team in 1968 with only 10 home runs.
HOF on this list includes Frank Robinson, Mike Piazza, and future HOF Adrian Beltre.
Homegrown LAD leaders were Frank Howard, Jim Lefebvre, Billy Grabarkewitz, Al Ferrera, Willie Davis, Joe Ferguson, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Mike Marshall, Franklin Stubbs, Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Adrian Beltre, Matt Kemp, and Cody Bellinger.
You could include Pedro Guerrero who was only 17 when the Dodgers acquired him from the Indians.
Between 2008 and 2015 the only Dodgers to lead the team in home runs were Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Adrian Gonzalez.
Between 1992 – 2000 the only Dodgers to lead the team in home runs were Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi, and Gary Sheffield
Between 1965 – 1970 only one Dodger hit at least 20 home runs and that was Jim Lefebvre in 1966.
No Dodger has hit at least 30 home runs since Matt Kemp in 2011. I expect that will change this year.
According to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America, Dennis Santana opened some eyes with his one inning of work in the California League All-Star game.
• Rancho Cucamonga righthander Dennis Santana opened eyes, sitting in the mid-90s with his sinker and flashing a devastating low-80s slider and mid-80s changeup. The Dodgers prospect struck out two in a scoreless fourth inning, including Giants No. 4 prospect Reynolds.
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/braden-bishop-steals-show-california-league-star-game/#ZhGzKt0AeABcjpxQ.99
Other Dodger prospect performances.
- Luke Raley started in LF and went 0 – 2.
- DJ Peters replaced Raley and collected a single hit in two at-bats.
- Will Smith started at catcher and collected a single in two at-bats.
- Isabel pinch hit, stayed at 1st and collected one walk in two at-bats
Dustin May got the start for the East in the MWL All-Star game and pitched one scoreless inning.
Brendon Davis made the most of his one at-bat in the MWL All-Star game, crushing a home run to CF as a pinch hitter. Alexis Brudnicki of Baseball America said it was the longest home run of the year for Davis.
On the East side, Loons infielder Brendon Davis carried his home run power from the derby and launched his longest one of the year to dead center in the ninth in the losing cause.
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/monte-harrison-swats-homers-swaps-jerseys/#s8moC6jC4jt6MTg2.99
Keibert Ruiz went one for two as all three Loons contributed even though the East lost to the West 5 – 2.
This was quite the baseball family affair for the East squad. Bo Bichette the son of Rockie great Dante was the starting SS. He was replaced by Fernando Tatis Junior. Vlad Guerrero Junior was the 3rd baseman. Bo is nothing like his father while Vlad Guerrero Junior seems to be just like his father.
Youth is being served on the 2017 LAD team.
As Corey Seager rounded 3rd base after hitting his 3rd home run I couldn’t help but marvel at the power being displayed by the youngest players on the team.
The four top home run hitters on the team are Bellinger (21), Seager (23), Puig (26), and Taylor(26).
Which got me to thinking, how many times has a LAD twenty-five or younger led his team in home runs?
The answer lies below:
Jim Lefebvre tied for the team lead in 1965 with twelve and Lou Johnson. That team won the World Championship with two players leading their team in home runs with a measly 12. Willie Mays hit 52 that year. It was not 1968 the year of the pitcher.
The only surprise to me on this list is that Franklin Stubbs once led the team in home runs.
One HOF on this list in Mike Piazza, and one future HOF on the list in Adrian Beltre.
Crazy times. At this point in 1993, Mike Piazza had only 14 of his 35 record home runs. Given the rate that Cody Bellinger is hitting home runs, I felt we should start tracking the all-time LAD home run record set by Shawn Green when he hit 49 home runs in 2001.
Bellinger has now fallen below the historical marker of a home run every 10 plate appearances. As you can tell from his home run rate below he’s blowing away the greatest LAD rookie home run hitters in history and even though he missed all of April is ahead of the Shawn Green pace. Green would hit 10 home runs in July and 12 more in August so Bellinger has his work cut out for him.
Oh, I guess I should add the all-time Rookie home run mark of 49 by Mark McGwire to this list. If he’s chasing Shawn Green, he is certainly chasing Mark McGwire.
Next home run
|Player||Year||PA||HR||HR/PA||Total HR Thru June 20th||Total|
If this confusing here is a quick legend.
PA – this is the number of plate appearances it took for each player to reach 22 home runs. We used 22 home runs because that is where Bellinger is right now. This would be within 4 PA of accuracy as I didn’t check the game log for the specific plate appearance they hit the home run.
HR – This is a marker showing you 22 home runs.
HR/PA – this is the home runs per plate appearance pace when they each hit their 22nd home run.
Total HR by June 20th – self-explanatory but it includes games of June 20th
Total – season home run total
Jeff Sullivan did an exhaustive look at the stats of Chris Taylor for Fangraphs on Tuesday. Joe Davis mentioned the story last night either before or after Chris Taylor crushed a home run to deep left field. Joe mentioned that the writer came to the conclusion that the hitter that most Chris Taylor most resembles is George Springer.
For the new Chris Taylor, at the plate, easily the closest comp has been recent George Springer. They’re close up there in all four categories, and while Springer has shown the slightly better peak strength, Taylor has made more consistent contact. So, when you wonder how Taylor’s wRC+ might regress, you might decide to be strongly anchored to Springer’s 130. Perhaps that’s still too high, I don’t know, but Taylor has been showing legitimate offensive skills, and his defensive versatility is an obvious plus. Pitchers will have time to try to figure this out, but Taylor hasn’t given an inch.
That would be insane. He may be right.
While Cody Bellinger is hitting home runs, Chris Taylor is running wild. In the month of June, Chris Taylor has seven stolen bases while being caught………..never.
Davey Lopes holds the record of ten stolen bases with zero caught stealing. That was expected because Davey rarely got caught stealing. That is why Maury Wills would never make a list like this.
What was shocking. Matt Kemp. What was more shocking. Franklin Stubbs. Are you kidding me?
Hey look, manager Dave Roberts made the cut off of six stolen bases without being caught.
This is a tough list to make because once you get caught, you gone.
Player Split Year SB PA R H HR RBI CS BB OPS Davey Lopes June 1978 10 119 21 33 5 13 0 14 .923 Matt Kemp June 2011 8 108 18 33 9 23 0 17 1.268 Eric Davis June 1992 7 47 2 9 0 5 0 4 .509 Chris Taylor June 2017 7 67 12 17 3 13 0 5 .844 Franklin Stubbs June 1988 6 73 9 12 2 7 0 7 .617 Raul Mondesi June 1995 6 109 20 36 4 13 0 7 .959 Dave Roberts June 2004 6 78 14 24 1 8 0 5 .892
I only left the run column on because of Eric Davis. He only scored two runs in the month. It was like he was A. J. Ellis.
Sandy Koufax has the best game score against the NYM at Dodger Stadium, courtesy of his no-hitter in 1962. It was far from a perfect game since Sandy walked five. It was also against one of the worst teams in baseball history, the newly formed NYM in 1962.
The game that catches my eye though, is the game by Mike Kekich. Mike Kekich was basically known for one thing and it wasn’t pitching. Kekich was involved in one of the stranger non baseball related activities when he and fellow Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson switched wives.
Mike Kekich Notes:
- Kekich was a 23-year-old rookie for the Dodgers in 1968 and would be traded to the NYY on Dec 4th, 1968 for outfielder Andy Kosco.
- The game that shows up on this leaderboard was the greatest game of his career.
- It was his only major league shutout.
- It was the only time he struck out over ten hitters.
- It was the only time he had a game score greater than 90. He did have two other game scores over 80 in 1971.
- Kekich would pitch 860 major league innings, make 112 major league starts, and still end his career with an ERA+ of only 73. It would seem he was a bad pitcher for a long time.
This might be the most game scores over 80 against any one franchise at Dodger Stadium.
Pete Richart also made the list. I wish I had not stumbled upon Mike Kekich cause I would have loved to have written about Pete Richart. If you are read our comments you will find this tidbit by El Camino Gary:
I remember this game so vividly. On April 12, 1962 I was one month shy of my tenth birthday.
I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio by the stove and keeping score, with help from Vin.
My parents and sister had gone across the street to visit neighbors.
I was in the house alone, the only light on in the house was the bulb on the fan hood over the stove, shining on the score sheet of my program from a recent visit to Dodger Stadium.
From the outset of the broadcast, Vin was excited that Richert was now with the team and was ready to see him perform.
Williams faltered early and Richert was brought into the game.
Richert struck out the first batter he faced, Vada Pinson, to end the second inning.
In the third, Richert struck out four batters. Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman, Wally Post, and John Edwards. John Roseboro had the third strike on Coleman get by him and Coleman made it to 1B.
Then Richert struck out Tommy Harper for the first out of the fourth inning.
Richert got the first twelve batters he faced out, a record for a rookie debut at the time.
Richert earned the win in this game.
Vin was excited! So I thought that the next great pitcher had arrived!
Of course, Richert is part of one of your favorite trades.
Richert, FRANK HOWARD, Ken McMullen, Dick Nen, and Phil Ortega for
Claude OSteen, John Kennedy, and $100,000
Richert played on four World Series teams. One with the Dodgers and three with the Orioles.
Player Date Opp Rslt IP H ER BB SO GSc Sandy Koufax 1962-06-30 NYM W 5-0 9.0 0 0 5 13 95 Mike Kekich 1968-08-04(2) NYM W 2-0 9.0 1 0 2 11 94 Clayton Kershaw 2016-05-12 NYM W 5-0 9.0 3 0 1 13 93 Don Sutton 1970-07-17 NYM W 1-0 10.0 5 0 3 12 91 Sandy Koufax 1965-06-20(1) NYM W 2-1 9.0 1 1 2 12 91 Fernando Valenzuela 1985-09-06 NYM L 0-2 11.0 6 0 3 5 87 Bill Singer 1968-08-03 NYM W 8-0 9.0 3 0 4 10 87 Sandy Koufax 1966-05-28 NYM W 7-1 9.0 3 0 2 10 87 Sandy Koufax 1963-05-19(1) NYM W 1-0 9.0 2 0 1 5 87 Burt Hooton 1977-05-03 NYM W 4-1 9.0 4 0 2 11 86 Don Sutton 1968-06-10 NYM L 0-1 10.0 5 1 3 10 85 Don Drysdale 1968-04-13 NYM W 1-0 9.0 4 0 1 7 85 Claude Osteen 1966-05-27 NYM W 4-0 9.0 3 0 2 6 85 Sandy Koufax 1965-04-22 NYM W 2-1 9.0 4 0 1 9 85 Pete Richert 1964-09-12 NYM W 8-0 9.0 2 0 3 5 85 Don Drysdale 1962-07-01 NYM W 5-1 9.0 5 1 1 13 85 Andy Messersmith 1974-05-01 NYM W 2-1 11.0 6 1 2 5 84 Claude Osteen 1971-08-17 NYM W 4-0 9.0 3 0 2 5 84 Chan Ho Park 2000-08-19 NYM W 4-1 9.0 4 1 2 10 83 Hideo Nomo 1995-08-31 NYM W 6-5 7.1 2 0 2 11 83 Andy Messersmith 1975-08-30 NYM W 7-0 9.0 5 0 3 8 82 Don Drysdale 1966-07-24(1) NYM W 5-0 9.0 6 0 3 10 82 Burt Hooton 1980-09-03 NYM W 2-0 8.1 4 0 2 8 81 Claude Osteen 1973-08-09 NYM W 1-0 9.0 4 0 1 3 81 Claude Osteen 1965-06-21 NYM L 0-1 9.0 2 1 3 5 81 Don Drysdale 1962-05-23 NYM W 3-1 9.0 4 1 1 7 81 Tommy John 1972-07-18 NYM W 2-1 9.0 5 0 0 5 80 Claude Osteen 1967-09-28 NYM W 3-0 9.0 5 0 0 3 80