clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The All-Time LA Dodger Lineup: The #5 Hitter

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

All-Time Lineup: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4

The lineup is starting to look pretty solid now. It's hard not to love Piazza & Guerrero back to back. Here is the lineup thus far:

All-Time LA Dodger Lineup

No Player Pos
30 Maury Wills
19 Jim Gilliam 2B/3B
31 Mike Piazza C
28 Pedro Guerrero 3B/OF

Who gets to follow Piazza & Guerrero? Catchers and shortstops are disqualified, and one of 2B or 3B will be disqualified depending on who we choose to take Jim Gilliam's other position. Pedro Guerrero gives us the flexibility loophole we may need as we get to the bottom of the lineup. As a Dodger, Guerrero started:

351 games at 3B
192 games in LF
99 games in CF
205 games in RF

Depending on what we need for that #8 spot, Guerrero's flexibility could be a huge plus. Sadly, we will not stoop so low as to use Guerrero's nine games started at 2B to our nefarious advantage.

Here are the stats for the primary #5 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 #5 hitter for the Dodgers:

Overall Stats as LA Dodgers
Pos Player Years #5 Starts PA 2B HR Runs RBI Slash Stats OPS+
3B Ron Cey
75-76,79-82 576 6108 223 228 715 842 .264/.359/.445 125
1B Eric Karros
1992,00-02 775 6624 302 270 752 976 .268/.325/.457 109
CF/RF Raul Mondesi
1995-1999 409 3765 190 163 543 518 .288/.334/.504 122
1B Steve Garvey
1977-1978 819 7027 333 211 852 992 .301/.337/.459 122
RF/LF Willie Crawford
1972-1974 335 3198 125 74 437 335 .268/.351/.413 118
1B/RF Ron Fairly
62-63,1968 305 4529 168 90 491 541 .260/.347/.385 111
RF/1B Mike Marshall
84, 86, 89 289 3546 155 137 395 484 .271/.325/.449 117
2B/3B Jim Lefebvre
1966-1967 252 3417 126 74 313 404 .251/.323/.378 104
RF Frank Howard
1960-1964 219 2321 80 123 293 382 .269/.326/.495 125
LF Dusty Baker
1980 203 4552 179 144 549 586 .281/.343/.437 117

Many of these choices were also active in earlier polls. Garvey, Fairly, and Marshall were also in the choices for cleanup hitter. Dusty Baker qualified at the #3 spot, and he also qualifies again at #6. Ron Cey and Eric Karros also qualify at the 6 spot for those planning ahead. Here's a look at the newcomers to the poll:

Raul Mondesi signed with the club in 1988, during a three-week period in which the club also brought in Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez. Mondesi brought an impact bat, good defense, and a laser arm he dubbed "El Cañon." He is still the only 30/30 player in Dodger history, having achieved the feat in both 1997 and 1999.

Willie Crawford played in a major league game just nine days after his 18th birthday in 1964, and was the primary 5th-place hitter for the 1974 NL Champions. His tenure with the Dodgers lasted through 1975, but despite his lifetime 118 OPS+ I get the sense he was viewed as a disappointment by many Dodger fans.

Jim Lefebvre won Rookie of the Year honors in 1965, helping the Dodgers capture the World Series title. He was a solid-hitting 2B in a time when there simply weren't very many of those. He is one of six Dodgers in history to HR his age, with 24 HR as a 24-year old in 1966. It's worth noting that Lefebvre also qualifies at #6 for those with strategic purposes. He also qualifies at 2B or 3B.

Frank Howard was the first Los Angeles Dodger to win Rookie of the Year, winning the award in 1960. Hondo was one of the best power hitters in Dodger history, with his .226 isolated power (slugging minus batting average). He became a star with Washington, but he was part of the package to get Claude Osteen so I'm not complaining.

Eric's Pick

He initial thought was to have Raul Mondesi in the 5 spot since I always loved watching him play. That lineup for me would have had Steve Garvey batting cleanup though, and I'm happy with my choice of Guerrero, who I liked more than any of them. Looking at the upcoming 6-7-8 spots, the only other first baseman left is Karros at #6, so I pretty much have to have a 1B here. This means my pick is between Ron Fairly, Steve Garvey, Mike Marshall (he did start 102 games at 1B as a Dodger) and Eric Karros. For me, this is a no-brainer. Steve Garvey is my pick, and it isn't really close. A side benefit of this pick is that under the uniforms this all-time team will wear, they can now wear these mandatory t-shirts.

Phil's Pick

During his tenue with the Dodgers Mondesi was a complete player. He was Reggie Smith light. He didn't have Smith's power but he had good power. He couldn't play RF like Reggie but he was damn good. He almost had an arm as good as Reggie's. Plus he has the added benefit of having played 150 games in CF.

Frank Howard was my man in Washington and would probably own every Dodger home run record had he not been traded. He hit an additonal 247 home runs after being traded good enough for 5th on the list during that time and only behind four Hall of Famers. Remember his home park was RFK which proved especially pitcher friendly in the brief time the Nationals called it home so I don't think he got much of a bump leaving Dodger Stadium.

At the end of 1966 the Dodgers had a 24 year old 2nd baseman who had hit more home runs then any other second baseman in baseball the previous two years . Frenchy looked poised for stardom but injuries brought him down and never again would he reach the pinnacle of 1966.

Mike Marshall combined with Pedro to give the Dodgers their only power in the mid 80's but he never did as much as was expected of him. He was okay but we expected so much. With much fanfare he was a Sept callup in 1981. In his first game he pinch ran for Garvey and then blasted a ball off the top of the right center field fence in his 1st major league at bat. Just like that ball his career turned out to be a double instead of a home run.

Crawford was under appreciated during his time. I know I didn't think much of him. If he had just a little more power to go with that great plate discipline he might have been more then just an above average player.

I'm going to have to go with Garvey though I was looking forward to trying to sneak Loney's 1.187 OPS into the lineup out of the eight hole.

I'd vote for Cey who was better then Garvey if we didn't have another chance to vote for him in the six slot and even Beltre in the 7 spot might be the best option for this team.

Wills is getting wasted on this team because it doesn't need his stolen bases to create runs.

Who is your pick?