Lest we forget 2017

I may have already written this column several times this year but before 2017 ends, now would be a good time for me to remember why 2017 was the best Dodger season of the 21st century.

Wins Wins Wins – 104 in total in the regular season and ten more in the postseason for a grand total of 114 wins.  No LAD team had ever won more than 110 games before when combining regular and postseason games.

Cody Bellinger had the greatest season by a LAD 21-year-old in history.   Much has been written about what Cody accomplished this season, and it still might not be enough.

Player            WAR/pos Year Age  Tm  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS      Pos
Cody Bellinger        4.2 2017  21 LAD 548 .267 .352 .581 .933 *37/9H8D
Adrian Beltre         3.4 2000  21 LAD 575 .290 .360 .475 .835    *5/H6
Willie Davis          2.4 1961  21 LAD 380 .254 .316 .451 .767      *8H
Tommy Davis           2.3 1960  21 LAD 374 .276 .302 .426 .728  *8H79/5
Bill Russell          2.0 1970  21 LAD 304 .259 .303 .363 .667  *98/H67
Willie Crawford       2.0 1968  21 LAD 198 .251 .335 .400 .735   *7H/98
Corey Seager          1.8 2015  21 LAD 113 .337 .425 .561 .986    *6/5H
Bill Buckner          1.0 1971  21 LAD 383 .277 .306 .366 .672   *9H3/7

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/29/2017.

Chris Taylor had the greatest season of any Dodger in my lifetime who was considered a minor league utility player in February and became the starting CF for a team who fell one win short of winning the World Championship

Unless it was Justin Turner who has gone from a backup 2nd/3rd baseman to make a case for being the greatest LAD 3rd baseman of all time.

Player          OPS+ WAR/pos From   To   Age   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS      Pos
Justin Turner    139    18.9 2014 2017 29-32 1926 .303 .378 .502 .881 *5/H463D
Ron Cey          125    47.5 1971 1982 23-34 6108 .264 .359 .445 .804     *5/H
Adrian Beltre    108    23.3 1998 2004 19-25 3818 .274 .332 .463 .794    *5/H6

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2017.
With his 2017 season clocking in as the 4th best in LAD history.

Player           OPS+ WAR/pos Year Age  Tm  PA   OPS    Pos
Adrian Beltre     163     9.5 2004  25 LAD 657 1.017  *5/H6
Ron Cey           139     6.7 1975  27 LAD 662  .845     *5
Ron Cey           143     6.0 1976  28 LAD 600  .848   *5/H
Justin Turner     149     5.7 2017  32 LAD 543  .945  *5/HD
Pedro Guerrero    150     5.5 1983  27 LAD 664  .904  *5/H3
Ron Cey           134     5.3 1978  30 LAD 667  .833   *5/H
Ron Cey           142     5.1 1979  31 LAD 579  .888   *5/H
Justin Turner     121     5.0 2016  31 LAD 622  .832 *5H/D3
Ron Cey           121     5.0 1980  32 LAD 630  .794     *5

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2017.
Ron Cey in 1979 was the last 3rd baseman to have back to back seasons of at least 5.0 bWAR.

Austin Barnes went from back up catcher as late as August to wrest a few more game a week to in the end catching every single game of the World Series without benefiting from an injury to the Grandal.  Yeah, that was a tough sentence to write, I might have butchered it as bad as Matt Kemp played CF in 2014. You want a cherry picked stat? How about that Austin Barnes is the only LAD catcher to have an OPS+ > 130 with between 200 and 300 plate appearances:)

Player          OPS+  PA Year Age  Tm   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Austin Barnes    137 262 2017  27 LAD .289 .408 .486 .895
Joe Ferguson     126 214 1980  33 LAD .238 .371 .436 .807
Duke Sims        121 263 1971  30 LAD .274 .357 .400 .757
Chad Kreuter     116 271 2000  35 LAD .264 .416 .410 .827
A.J. Ellis       113 217 2015  34 LAD .238 .355 .403 .758
Joe Ferguson     111 235 1978  31 LAD .237 .350 .399 .749
Alex Trevino     110 233 1986  28 LAD .262 .351 .386 .737
Tom Haller       108 234 1971  34 LAD .267 .346 .366 .712

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2017.

Corey Seager backed up his 2016 ROY season with the greatest season by a 23-year-old LAD infielder since the 1965 ROY season by Jim Lefebvre.

Player         WAR/pos Year Age  Tm  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS   Pos
Corey Seager       5.6 2017  23 LAD 613 .295 .375 .479 .854 *6/HD
Jim Lefebvre       4.6 1965  23 LAD 631 .250 .337 .369 .706  *4/H

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2017.

In only two years Corey Seager already has more bWAR than all but three LAD shortstops.

Player          WAR/pos From   To   Age   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS       Pos
Maury Wills        31.9 1959 1972 26-39 6745 .281 .331 .332 .663     *6/5H
Bill Russell       31.2 1969 1986 20-37 8021 .263 .310 .338 .648 *69H/8745
Rafael Furcal      15.4 2006 2011 28-33 2803 .283 .351 .406 .757      *6/H
Corey Seager       13.5 2015 2017 21-23 1413 .305 .374 .502 .876    *6/H5D

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/29/2017.

Vintage Puig was back and at times looked like an MVP player. As did Bellinger, Seager, Turner, and even Turner.

Puig has now played five seasons for the Dodgers and now ranks among the best LAD right fielders of all time. If Puig is allowed to play a sixth season with the Dodgers there is a good chance he will end 2018 with the highest bWAR of any LAD right fielder in history.

Player         OPS+ WAR/pos From   To   Age   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
Raul Mondesi    122    21.5 1993 1999 22-28 3765 .288 .334 .504 .838  *98/7H
Shawn Green     130    20.8 2000 2004 27-31 3462 .280 .366 .510 .876 *93/DH8
Reggie Smith    152    19.3 1976 1981 31-36 2055 .297 .387 .528 .915 *9/H835
Yasiel Puig     128    16.5 2013 2017 22-26 2321 .281 .357 .475 .833 *9/8H7D
Frank Howard    125    10.9 1958 1964 21-27 2321 .269 .326 .495 .822  *9/H73
J.D. Drew       132     7.2 2005 2006 29-30  905 .284 .399 .505 .905  *9/8HD

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/29/2017.

Charlie Culberson had two hits during the regular season but banged out eight hits in only eighteen postseason plate appearances.  That might have been the most unusual thing to happen the whole season. Corey Seager was nine for forty-six in the postseason. Culberson had one less hit in twenty-eight fewer plate appearances than the best hitting shortstop in the National League. Go figure

Of course, Kyle Farmer had the walk-off with his first major league hit.

Pitchers are next

Then the best games of 2017

The surprises of 2017

The disappointments of 2017

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