Historical LAD ROY positional player voting results
With Cody Bellinger expected to win the NL 2017 Rookie of the Year award, let’s take a look at all the LAD position players who have gotten at least one vote for the award.
In 1960 Frank Howard won over his teammate Tommy Davis and future HOF Ron Santo. Frank Howard had an illustrious career and proved the voters correct.
In 1965 Jim Lefebvre won over Joe Morgan who was truly robbed. Frenchy would go on to have an excellent sophomore season leading the 1966 Dodgers in most offensive categories but eventually his career petered out in 1972. But that would just be the beginning of a baseball journey that took him around the world.
Ted Sizemore won in 1969 and the competition was meager. Sizemore had lowest OPS+ of any LAD to win the ROY. Al Oliver would go on to have the best career among those who got votes. Had to be a big letdown for baseball after the two previous winners were future HOF Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver.
Ron Cey and Davey Lopes both tied for 6th in 1973. The winner was Gary Matthews with Steve Rogers placing 2nd. Other good players to get a vote were Richie Zisk, Bob Boone, and Dan Driessen. Ron Cey would end up with the highest cumulative bWAR from that group with Davey Lopes giving him a good run for his money. Steve Rogers was second in cumulative bWAR and long time Dodger fans will remember the Dodgers had to go through prime Steve Rodgers in 1981 to get to the World Series. Rick Monday’s home run in the deciding game is one of the great LAD moments in history.
Steve Sax would win in 1982, and much like Sizemore did it by hitting lots and lots of singles. Sax would also steal 49 bases. Future HOF Ryan Sandberg got some votes, but in 1982 Steve Sax had the better season. Sax won the 4th Dodger ROY in a row but was the only position player in that run of four. Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, and Fernando won it in 79/80/81. We will get to the pitchers in a different article. Interesting note, at this point the last three position Dodgers to win the ROY were all 2nd baseman.
Greg Brock would get 3 points for 7th place in 1983. About what he deserved. Mr. Strawberry won easily.
Mariano Duncan surprised everyone to win the starting SS job in 1985 and parlayed his 38 steals into 3rd place. Vince Coleman would steal 110 bases and run away with the award.
Eric Karros started a string of five straight Dodger ROY winners in 1992. Eric won quite easily as he was the only full-time rookie to put up any kind of numbers in 1992.
HOF Mike Piazza followed Karros by winning in 1993. Piazza would be the first LAD ROY winner to become a HOF but he had a teammate named Pedro Martinez who got 9th place. For cumulative bWAR I wonder if any team had two rookies on it like Piazza and Pedro? Piazza received every single first place vote, and had the highest OPS+ of the any Dodger ROY winner, and will still hold that distinction even after Seager wins this year. However one Dodger rookie did have a higher OPS+ than Piazza, but he did not win the ROY award in 2013.
Raul Mondesi than followed Karros and Piazza by winning the 1994 award. In three years the Dodgers had added three major talents, but it didn’t help them win any postseason games. Just like Piazza, Mondesi won every single 1st place vote. Headed into the 1995 season you would have been hard-pressed to decide who was going to have the better career, Mondesi or Piazza. Ryan Klesko, Cliff Floyd and Javy Lopez were three players who received votes that would go on to have distinguished careers.
Todd Hollandsworth won in 1996 completing the string of five straight Dodger ROY award winners. Hideo Nomo won as a LAD pitcher in 1995. That left the Dodgers with four position ROY award winners in five years and one pitcher. Yet again none of that translated into postseason victories. Nary a one. Todd barely beat out Edgar Renteria for 1st place with 15 votes to 10. I’d have gone with the SS myself. Todd was the last LAD position player to win the NL ROY award. Until 2016 that is.
It wasn’t until 2006 that any LAD position player got any ROY votes. Andre polled 5th in 2006 riding his outstanding start. Russell Martin showed up 9th and even smiling Sammy Saito got a vote. The winner was Hanley Ramirez but the list had plenty of other good players. Ryan Zimmerman was 2nd, Dan Uggla, Johnson, Matt Cain, and Prince Fielder all got some votes.
James Loney would get one vote in 2007 finishing 6th and last in the voting. Ryan Braun started his brilliant career in 2007 and easily won the award. However, James Loney unlike Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, and Hollandsworth, would give the Dodgers a win in the postseason. Yeah, he did that.
Which takes us to 2013 and Yasiel Puig. Puig has the highest OPS+ of any LAD rookie and yet did not win a ROY award. With good reason. Puig lost to his countryman Jose Fernandez who tragically died earlier this month.
Corey Seager won the 2016 ROY award by a landslide getting every single 1st place vote. Something we expect Cody Bellinger to replicate.
List of LAD Rookies and how they did in ROY voting. Even though Baseball Reference lists Billy Grabarkewitz and his 1970 season as a rookie he was not a rookie, cause if he was he’d have beaten Carl Morton. Billy may not have been a rookie but 1970 was first full season and he was everything that Cory Seager was in 2016.