Top 21 year old Los Angeles Dodger Position season - Adrian Beltre again

Best 19 & 20 Year Old Position Seasons

Best 19 & 20 Year old Pitching Seasons

Sorted by OPS+

                                                                                          
Rk            Player OPS+  PA Year Age  R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS    Pos
1      Adrian Beltre  114 575 2000  21 71 30  2 20  85 56 80 12 .290 .360 .475 .835   *5/6
2       Bill Buckner   95 383 1971  21 37 15  1  5  41 11 18  4 .277 .306 .366 .672  *93/7
3       Willie Davis   95 380 1961  21 56 19  6 12  45 27 46 12 .254 .316 .451 .767     *8
4        Tommy Davis   92 374 1960  21 43 18  1 11  44 13 35  6 .276 .302 .426 .728 *879/5
5       Ken McMullen   89 259 1963  21 16  9  0  5  28 20 46  1 .236 .297 .339 .636  *5/47
6       Bill Russell   82 304 1970  21 30 11  9  0  28 16 28  9 .259 .303 .363 .667 *98/67
7       Roger Cedeno   81 238 1996  21 26 11  1  2  18 24 47  5 .246 .326 .336 .663  *87/9
8          John Hale   80 238 1975  21 20  7  0  6  22 26 51  1 .211 .303 .333 .637    *98
9    Bobby Valentine   74 307 1971  21 32 10  2  1  25 15 20  5 .249 .287 .310 .597 654/98

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/7/2011.

Sorted by BRef WAR

 

                                                                                    
Rk            Player WAR/pos  PA  R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS    Pos
1      Adrian Beltre     3.5 575 71 30  2 20  85 56 80 12 .290 .360 .475 .835   *5/6
2       Willie Davis     2.3 380 56 19  6 12  45 27 46 12 .254 .316 .451 .767     *8
3        Tommy Davis     2.0 374 43 18  1 11  44 13 35  6 .276 .302 .426 .728 *879/5
4       Bill Russell     1.6 304 30 11  9  0  28 16 28  9 .259 .303 .363 .667 *98/67
5       Bill Buckner     1.1 383 37 15  1  5  41 11 18  4 .277 .306 .366 .672  *93/7
6          John Hale     0.5 238 20  7  0  6  22 26 51  1 .211 .303 .333 .637    *98
7       Ken McMullen     0.5 259 16  9  0  5  28 20 46  1 .236 .297 .339 .636  *5/47
8       Roger Cedeno     0.2 238 26 11  1  2  18 24 47  5 .246 .326 .336 .663  *87/9
9    Bobby Valentine    -0.9 307 32 10  2  1  25 15 20  5 .249 .287 .310 .597 654/98

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/7/2011.

Adrian Beltre wins this no matter how you slice it. He had the best offensive season, and his solid defense at 3rd base helped keep Willie Davis in 2nd place. Adrian was the only 21 year old with over 400 at bats.

Tidbits:

  • This would be Adrian Beltre's best season to date, and the reason Dodger fans were expecting something akin to a HOF career. Power / Patience / Elite defense, the whole package was on display in 2000. So for the record Adrian Beltre is easily the best position playing Los Angeles Dodger from the age of 19 - 21. It will take some kind of talent to move him off this block.
  • Willie Davis is about to enter the fray as he will populate the top ten of this list for quite a while. At only 21 he was not quite the everyday center fielder, but he would be shortly. Interesting to me is that Tommy Davis is the man he split time with in CF. Willie holds many long time career Dodger records, a great Dodger who died in the spring of 2010.
  • Tommy Davis was showing Dodger fans a glimpse of what was to come in 1962 at age 23. In 1960 at age 21 he was playing CF and LF.
  • Bill Russell was still a full time outfielder in 1970, but not a full time player. He hit 9 triples (2nd on the team) in only 278 at bats but zero home runs.
  • Bill Buckner played mostly RF but didn't do much as a 21 year old. He would get better.
  • This will be the only time Ken McMullen shows up on any of these lists. He won the 3rd base job out of spring training, with Jim Gilliam becoming the full time 2nd baseman. By May 5th Ken was hitting only .205 and lost the job until June 29th when he took over for the rest of the year. Interestingly enough, even though Ken started most of the games at 3rd base in Sept, he did not get one at bat in the World Series. The Dodgers shifted Gilliam to 3rd and used Dick Tracewski as they blanked the Yankee's in four straight. Ken would get little playing time in 1964 and was traded along with Frank Howard that winter for Claude Osteen.
  • John Hale broke into the big leagues in 1974 with four hits in four at bats so he entered his 21 year old season with a  TSL of 1.000 / 1.000 / 1.250.  I expected big things from the sweet-swinging Hale but it was not to be. He had one skill and that was a great eye with a career walk rate of 12.8%. Too bad for him he could not hit for average or power. His 21 year old season was not a stepping stone to a better career but basically a glimpse into every season of his short career.
  • Roger Cedeno is one of the big reasons I've raised a skeptical eye at every Dodger speedster who appears destined for stardom. Cedeno was a blazing fast center fielder who might have been the worst center fielder I've ever watched when it came to routes. Cedeno also had a good eye along with that great speed but lacked any power whatsoever. In 1996 he didn't hit enough but one could make an argument that he'd have a long and successful career. He did, just not with the Dodgers. They traded him at age 23 to the Mets along with Charles Johnson for Todd Hundley. Roger would explode with the Mets in 1998, stealing 60 bases, and putting up a .396 OBP.  In retrospect, I was way too hard on Roger Cedeno, if the Dodgers had displayed some patience that combination of speed and OB would have been a valuable skill set for a few years.
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