LAD second base has a fine history, Part Two
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.
and in 1966, Jim Lefebvre joined that select group.
Before the injuries, he was also a fine defensive 2nd baseman.
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.