1992 ROY Eric Karros was more than just great hair

erickarrosrookieoftheyear

When Eric Karros won the 1992 Rookie of the Year award he was the first and only LAD first baseman to win the award. The only other rookie LAD 1st baseman to ever get any votes were Greg Brock in 1983 and James Loney in 2007. Brock came in 7th place and James Loney came in 6th place.

Cody Bellinger will be changing that dynamic in a few weeks when he wins the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year award.

I remember Eric bashing home runs in the minor leagues but not getting much respect from the prospect touting world. Much like Mike Piazza in 1993 he would have to prove he deserved to be a starting major league player.  Pre 1990 he was ranked 84th, and was dropped to 94th in pre-1991, and had dropped off the lists by 1992.

Dodger Historian Mark Langill gives us the scoop on how Eric Karros won the starting job in 1992.

On May 23, the Dodgers trailed the Pirates 4–1 in the bottom of the ninth when Benzinger started a rally with a leadoff single. After a wild pitch, an RBI single by Mike Scioscia made it 4–2. Karros eventually came off the bench to face Pittsburgh closer Stan Belinda with one out and runners on second and third. When Karros hit a three-run home run into the Left Field Pavilion, it touched off more than a celebration after the 5–4 victory.

Lasorda returned Karros to the starting lineup and moved Benzinger to right field. Daniels, the Opening Day starter at first base, hit .231 in 35 games before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs on June 27. Benzinger spent only one season with the Dodgers, batting .239 in 121 games with four home runs and 31 RBI.

When you review the vote in 1992 it does not look like Karros deserved to win the Rookie of the Year award. Eric won easily but Moises Alou and Reggie Sanders had much better seasons. Eric won because he hit 20 home runs and drove in 88 runs. The baseball card stats won the day for Karros.

                          Voti      Voti       Voti
Name               Tm Vote Pts 1st Place Share  WAR
Eric Karros       LAD    116.0      22.0   97%  0.4
Moises Alou       MON     30.0       0.0   25%  2.5
Tim Wakefield     PIT     29.0       2.0   24%  2.1
Reggie Sanders    CIN     23.0       0.0   19%  2.5
Donovan Osborne   STL     12.0       0.0   10% -0.2
Mike Perez        STL      2.0       0.0    2%  2.2
Ben Rivera        TOT      1.0       0.0    1%  2.6
Frank Seminara    SDP      1.0       0.0    1%  0.2
Brian Williams    HOU      1.0       0.0    1%  0.3
Mark Wohlers      ATL      1.0       0.0    1%  0.6

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2017.

While Karros may not have deserved the ROY in 1992 he ended up having a very lengthy Dodger career and currently holds the record for most home runs. Only three LAD have hit at least 200 home runs.

Player          HR From   To   Age   PA  OPS
Eric Karros    270 1991 2002 23-34 6624 .782
Ron Cey        228 1971 1982 23-34 6108 .804
Steve Garvey   211 1969 1982 20-33 7027 .796

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2017.

He is also 2nd in runs batted in.

Player         RBI From   To   Age   PA  OPS
Steve Garvey   992 1969 1982 20-33 7027 .796
Eric Karros    976 1991 2002 23-34 6624 .782
Willie Davis   849 1960 1973 20-33 8035 .725
Ron Cey        842 1971 1982 23-34 6108 .804

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2017.

Karros was also 4th in doubles in 302, and fifth in hits with 1608,  and sixth in runs scored with 752. Yup, Eric Karros dominates the LAD cumulative leaderboards in the baseball card categories.
He does not fare so well in modern bWAR. His 11.4 bWAR ranks 39th all-time for the LAD.

Rk            Player WAR/pos From   To   Age   PA
1       Willie Davis    54.4 1960 1973 20-33 8035
2            Ron Cey    47.5 1971 1982 23-34 6108
3       Steve Garvey    36.4 1969 1982 20-33 7027
4     Pedro Guerrero    32.8 1978 1988 22-32 4089
5        Davey Lopes    32.1 1972 1981 27-36 5308
6        Mike Piazza    31.9 1992 1998 23-29 3017
7        Maury Wills    31.9 1959 1972 26-39 6745
8       Bill Russell    31.5 1969 1986 20-37 8021
9      Mike Scioscia    26.2 1980 1992 21-33 5057
10     Adrian Beltre    23.4 1998 2004 19-25 3818
11       Jim Gilliam    23.4 1958 1966 29-37 4894
12        Wes Parker    22.9 1964 1972 24-32 4835
13     John Roseboro    22.3 1958 1967 25-34 4505
14      Andre Ethier    21.8 2006 2017 24-35 5409
15      Raul Mondesi    21.4 1993 1999 22-28 3765
16         Matt Kemp    21.1 2006 2014 21-29 4496
17       Shawn Green    20.8 2000 2004 27-31 3462
18       Dusty Baker    19.9 1976 1983 27-34 4552
19   Willie Crawford    19.9 1964 1975 17-28 3199
20      Reggie Smith    19.3 1976 1981 31-36 2055
21     Justin Turner    18.6 2014 2017 29-32 1898
22      Steve Yeager    17.8 1972 1985 23-36 3869
23      Jim Lefebvre    17.2 1965 1972 23-30 3417
24    Gary Sheffield    17.1 1998 2001 29-32 2276
25       Yasiel Puig    16.3 2013 2017 22-26 2291
26       Tommy Davis    16.3 1959 1966 20-27 3216
27    Russell Martin    15.9 2006 2010 23-27 2713
28         Steve Sax    15.9 1981 1988 21-28 4745
29     Rafael Furcal    15.4 2006 2011 28-33 2803
30      Brett Butler    15.0 1991 1997 34-40 3342
31      Joe Ferguson    14.2 1970 1981 23-34 2525
32      Paul Lo Duca    13.8 1998 2004 26-32 2361
33   Adrian Gonzalez    13.1 2012 2017 30-35 2980
34      Corey Seager    12.9 2015 2017 21-23 1368
35        Ron Fairly    12.9 1958 1969 19-30 4529
36        Wally Moon    12.7 1959 1965 29-35 2657
37          Jim Wynn    12.4 1974 1975 32-33 1185
38        Manny Mota    11.6 1969 1982 31-44 2187
39       Eric Karros    11.4 1991 2002 23-34 6624
40      Frank Howard    10.8 1958 1964 21-27 2321
41        Tom Haller    10.2 1968 1971 31-34 1637
42     Mike Marshall    10.1 1981 1989 21-29 3546

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2017.

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3 Comments

  1. Michael

    I grew up watching the Karros-era Dodger teams. Even as a kid, and before advanced stats took over, I always felt like his performance was a bit empty. Funny how things changed so fast. Nowadays a guy like Karros probably wouldn’t have much of a career.

    Like

    • 68elcamino427

      Karros and Piazza were absent the speed tool
      The speed tool turns CODY – TED HOWARD FRANK WILLIAMS – BELLINGER into a real freak of nature.
      Karros and Piazza had the slow tool.

      Like

      • 68elcamino427

        Five year from now is 2022

        This is when CODY BELLINGER
        should hit Home Run
        201

        Like

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