2017 Good and bad Part I
Time for end of year lists and luckily for Dodger fans the year was loaded with amazing moments and stories.
Puig Resurrection – Puig went from being demoted to AAA in August of 2016 to batting eight for much of the first 1/2 of 2017 to batting cleanup in game three of the NLCS. Puig may have struggled in the World Series but he did have an OPS over 1.100 in both the NLDS and NLCS. The Puig that arrived in August was a Puig that had not been seen before. Calm and patient with power. Over the season Puig hit at least four but never more than six home runs in every month. This new Puig will be an MVP candidate in 2018.
Andre Ethier proved his 2016 injury-marred season was no fluke by following it up with just about the exact same season. In 2016 Andre managed 26 plate appearances. In 2017 he moved that up to 38. The Dodgers paid Andre Ethier $35M for 64 plate appearances. I’m going to miss Andre but it seems he left us two years ago.
Cody Bellinger broke into the major leagues with a bang and never stopped banging until the World Series. He won the Dodgers second positional ROY in two years and broke the NL rookie home run record set by Frank Robinson over a 1/2 a century ago. His mega skills were on full display as he showed he could beat you with his power, his clutch hitting, his speed, and his glove. All during his age 21-year-old season. Dodger fans had never seen anything like this from someone 21 years old who wasn’t named Fernando.
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 3.9 1999 20 LAD 614 .275 .352 .428 .780 *5/H 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 Pee Wee Reese 2.0 1940 21 BRO 361 .272 .366 .372 .738 *6/H
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Adrian Gonzalez final season as a Dodger was a dud in many ways. Adrian went from never having been on the disabled list to being on the DL almost all year. He ended his career with the Dodgers by being flipped to the Braves in a salary dump deal and then being released by the Braves. After a consistent career his 2017 season was an Ethier.
Kyle Farmer – getting your first hit is always cool, getting your first hit and driving in a run is even cooler, getting your first hit in the bottom of the 9th and driving in the winning run is as cool as it gets.
Ballyhooed number one prospect Alex Verdugo failed to impress with his bat, glove, or attitude in his brief trial in September.
The Dodgers had the greatest pitcher of the 21st century on the mound and a 4 – 0 lead in pivotal game five of the World Series.
That pitcher gave up four runs in the bottom of the 4th to squander the lead. That said pitcher gave up four runs in a game only fifteen times in five years of 141 starts. In the regular season.
The Dodgers scored three runs in the top of the fifth to give the greatest pitchers of the 21st century a 3 run lead in pivotal game five of the World Series
That said pitcher gave up the lead. again.
Clayton Kershaw when he pitched was once again the best pitcher in baseball during the regular season.
For the second season in a row Clayton Kershaw was sidelined by a back injury. This time he made 27 starts.
Brandon Morrow was signed to a minor league deal but by the time the World Series rolled around you could make an argument he was the best setup man in baseball.
Game five of the World Series happened. No outs, Four hits, Four runs.
Great job here.
I will add “The Worry”
Corey Seager’s elbow
If we are going to worry about the Elbow we also have to worry about the Back. Might make a good column. An Elbow, Back, and Bat walk into a bar.