LAD second base has a fine history, Part Two

Last week I took a look at the greatest LAD 2nd baseman using OPS+ to display the best seasons and best careers. 

Today we will use bWAR to examine the same seasons, and careers which will show huge differences since bWAR incorporates all of a players production, not just the offensive side.

As you can see, Davey Lopes dominates the top ten best season list by bWAR. Lopes holds four of the top ten seasons. What is fascinating about Davey Lopes is that he didn’t make the major leagues until he was 28. The converted minor league outfielder made second base his home from 1973 – 1981, ending his run with the championship 1981 team. To the surprise of many who followed the team, Lopes beat out the much younger and much more ballyhooed prospect Lee Lacy in the spring of 1973.

His successor Steve Sax makes the top ten with his 1986 season which was the best offensive season for a LAD second baseman. Sax stole a lot of bases but he got caught quite a bit. Lopes would steal 557 while getting caught only 114 times. Lopes was the best base stealer of his time.  By comparison,  Sax would steal 444 bases but get caught 177 times.

Jim Lefebvre had a brilliant 1966 season that doesn’t get recognized very much. His 24 home runs for a 2nd baseman in 1966 was a unique accomplishment at the time.

Before 1966 Very few 2nd baseman had ever hit 24 home runs in a season and that short list was filled with HOF 2nd baseman.

and in 1966, Jim Lefebvre joined that select group.

Before the injuries,  he was also a fine defensive 2nd baseman.

Player Age OPS+ bWAR PA Year
Davey Lopes 30 104 5.3 726 1975
Jim Lefebvre 24 126 5.2 610 1966
Jim Gilliam 34 121 5.2 605 1963
Steve Sax 26 137 4.8 704 1986
Davey Lopes 33 118 4.8 665 1978
Davey Lopes 34 128 4.7 692 1979
Davey Lopes 32 110 4.6 589 1977
Jim Lefebvre 23 106 4.6 631 1965
Charlie Neal 28 105 4.4 686 1959
Orlando Hudson 31 109 4.1 631 2009

Now for the most bWAR in a career as a LAD second baseman. As expected Davey Lopes sits on top of this list by a high margin. What is noteworthy is that second place is occupied by Steve Sax which means from 1973 – 1988 the Dodgers had their two best second baseman playing the game. It is no surprise that is also when the Dodgers went to five world series winning two World Championships.  One other note on that, after each World Championship the Dodgers replaced their 2nd baseman.

Jeff Kent slugged his way to 3rd place on this list but a 6.7 bWAR in four seasons is nothing to brag about. The fact that Orlando Hudson is on this list despite playing only one season shows you how slim the pickings have been at 2nd base when the name Lopes or Sax are not involved.

Player Age OPS+ b_WAR From To
Davey Lopes 27-36 105 32.1 1972 1981
Steve Sax 21-28 97 15.7 1981 1988
Jeff Kent 37-40 119 6.7 2005 2008
Ted Sizemore 24-31 88 6 1969 1976
Charlie Neal 27-30 92 5.7 1958 1961
Mark Ellis 35-36 92 5.5 2012 2013
Willie Randolph 34-35 101 4.7 1989 1990
Eric Young 25-32 93 4.2 1992 1999
Orlando Hudson 31-31 109 4.1 2009 2009
Delino DeShields 25-27 79 3.1 1994 1996
Chase Utley 36-37 92 2.9 2015 2016
Juan Samuel 29-31 97 2.5 1990 1992
Ron Hunt 26-26 107 2 1967 1967
Jody Reed 30-30 88 0.3 1993 1993


  1. 68elcamino427

    Too bad the Dodgers picked up Kent for his age 37, 38, 39, and 40 seasons.
    Wonder what the Giants might have been slipping into his orange juice?
    From 1997 through 2005, Kent hit 22 HR or more every season!
    I really enjoyed watching Kent hit.


  2. Yes, Kent was fun to watch hit.
    Lopes was fun to watch run
    Sax was just fun to watch
    I never took to Orlando Hudson
    Always wanted Juan Samuel to be better
    I missed all the Gilliam years
    Frenchy was fried by the time I saw him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: