The All-Time LA Dodger Lineup: The #3 Spot

All-Time Lineup#1 | #2

The first two spots in our batting order are taken, so the table is ready to be set by the 60's tandem of Maury Wills and Junior Gilliam.

All-Time LA Dodger Lineup

No Player Pos
30 Maury Wills SS
19 Jim Gilliam 2B/3B
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Since we are going to have so many possible options for the three spot there will be a runoff of the top four unless one player totally dominates the voting.

Now it's time to bring up the big sticks, the guys to drive home our table setters.  The all-time LA Dodger leader in games started batting third as well as Win Shares, Willie Davis, is going against some heavy artillery.   We have a little more flexibility with Jim Gilliam, as we can put him at 2B or 3B, so I won't automatically disqualify 2B or 3B until we pick one more.

Here are the stats for the primary #3 hitters in Los Angeles Dodger history.  Their overall stats as a Dodger are listed, along with the games started and years they were the primary #3 hitter for the Dodgers:

Pos Player Years #3 Starts PA HR Runs RBI SB Slash Stats OPS+
CF Willie Davis 1962,64-73 1250 8035 154 1004 849 335 .279/.312/.413 107
C Mike Piazza
1994-1997 499 3017 177 443 563 10 .331/.394/.572 159
LF Dusty Baker
1981-1983 476 4552 144 549 586 73 .281/.343/.437 117
RF Reggie Smith
1976-1978 442 2055 97 314 301 32 .297/.387/.528 151
RF Shawn Green
2002-2003 392 3462 162 505 509 63 .280/.366/.510 130
LF Gary Sheffield
1998-2001 375 2276 129 358 367 43 .312/.424/.573 160
LF Wally Moon
1959-1965 281 2657 64 337 330 41 .286/.377/.435 119
CF Jimmy Wynn
1974-75 262 1185 50 184 166 25 .261/.394/.463 143
LF Tommy Davis
1959-1966 215 3216 86 392 465 65 .304/.338/.441 117
LF Kirk Gibson
1988-1990 204 1283 42 200 142 69 .264/.353/.433 124

Eric's Pick

For me, the choices boil down nicely to three categories:

1) The best hitting catcher in baseball history

2) Leftfield:  One guy who was one half of the first high five in history, or another who came to town in the trade of #1.  Kirk Gibson simply wasn't around long enough to build on the greatest sports moment of my lifetime.

3) Rightfield:  One guy who hit 4 HR in a game in Milwaukee, or another who jumped into the stands to attack a heckling Giant fan in San Francisco.

I have narrowed my choices to three:  Piazza, Sheffield, and Smith.  My immediate instinct was to pick Piazza.  How can the all-time LA Dodger lineup not have Mike Piazza?  It seems so obvious to want to right the wrong of trading Mike over a decade ago, but if you remember our rules this is a strategic pick.  If you look at the choices for LF, it is slim pickings outside of Sheffield or Baker, and the alternatives I might have are more associated with positions in the batting order that are either filled by this poll or in my mind.  In RF, there are a few other options, especially ones I can place later in the order.  Factor in that my favorite catcher growing up and the greatest blocker of home plate in baseball history, Mike Scioscia, can bat either 6th or 7th, and Sheffield seems like a choice I have to make.  However, I simply can't let that happen.  I'm going with my heart on this one.  I'll take the 62nd round pick, Mike Piazza.

Phil's Pick

Eric and i differ on the players here so I'm adding a couple of my favorites. I may wax a little longer then Eric as some of these are my favorites. None of these may belong with the others but they all deserve a mention.

Tommy Davis was the first great hitter to grace Chavez Ravine. By the time Dodger Stadium had opened Duke Snider was on his last legs and the kid who was recruited by Jackie Robinson put up the highest OPS+ season of the 60's. Once he broke his leg in 65 he was never the same but for two years (62,63) Tommy Davis was the man.

Before Tommy Davis was tearing up Dodger Stadium Wally Moon was bringing the crowd to it's feet at the Coliseum and his Moon Shots  were the number one attraction at the Coliseum.

The Toy Cannon only played two years for the Dodgers but he left an impression on many fans with the power he generated from his strange physique.  As a Center Fielder his combination of plate discipline and power was unusual and would slot in well in this lineup. He's wasn't the hitter that Sheffield was but Sheff can be replaced with quality in the corners. If Wynn is  not the choice the options for center field are slim. Duke does not appear to meet Eric's criteria for games played as he rarely played CF at the end of his career. He might qualify in the four spot but he would have to beat out some juggernauts to make it.

Some of you might remember this moment but he was much more then one plate appearance. Kirk Gibson  is one of a handful of LA Dodgers to win the MVP trophy. One of them sits on top of our lineup. Is there room for another MVP?

For informational purposes be aware that some of greatest hitters will fall off this poll if they are not selected for the three spot. No Piazza, No Reggie Smith, No Jimmy Wynn, No Sheffield, and no Wally Moon. No Willie Davis either but if you have a choice between Wynn and Davis for CF....

Mike Piazza is simply my favorite Dodger of all time. Nothing cracked my Dodger amour as much as his trade. It took years to repair the wound but I'm not sure he's the man for this job.   Scoscia or Roseboro could easily slot into the 7th hole but I think a team with Steve Yeager batting 8th is going to be the best team given the options in the eight hole.

As a ballplayer Reggie Smith was better then Sheffield. They are close as hitters but Reggie could do it all with one of the greatest arms I've ever seen. I wish like hell he'd batted somewhere other then 3rd.  This team needs a left handed presence because I don't think Shawn Green is going to win this vote or the four vote. Jimmy Wynn was the best Los Angeles offensive Center Fielder and it is not even close. So do you pick the best Los Angeles offensive catcher  (Piazza), the best all around player (Smith) or the best offensive center fielder (Jimmy Wynn)? My heart says give me the backstop, my brain says give me the best all around player I've ever seen play for the Dodgers. Reggie Smith has been so underrated it drives me crazy to see players like Jim Rice make it into the HOF when Reggie Smith was the better player in every way. Reggie Smith needs to be in this lineup. Sorry Mike, Sorry Jimmy. Screw you Sheff.

Good luck making your decision.

Who is your pick? This poll will run through Saturday at noon, or until four players clearly stand out.  We will then go into a runoff with the top four, unless one player gets 50% of the vote and leads by more than 10% over the 2nd place player.

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