Pedro Guerrero - Best NL hitter in the '80s


Here are my thoughts on Pedro Guerrero.

There are a few qualifications that probably could be made to the following statement but if you look objectively at the numbers, it is plain to see that outside of Mike Schmidt, there was no better hitter in the National League from 1980-1988 than Pedro Guerrero. Guerrero’s 149 OPS+ is tied with Daryl Strawberry for second place for players with 3000 or more PA in NL from 1980-1988, Schmidt was first with 155. Now, there is no doubt that Guerrero benefited from not playing as much as the others in the top 10 during the above-referenced period, five players had 5000+ PA against Guerrero’s 4183.

But Guerrero, who was second in BA, 6th in OBP (within .012 of 1st), and 3rd in Slugging, was the best all-around hitter and certainly the most versatile. Versatile is another word for the phrase, have glove, will travel. Guerrero played the outfield and third base during that time and he was not a candidate for any Gold Gloves during that time.

How does Pedro stack up against his fellow LA Dodgers, with players with over 3000 PA from the age of 24-32, his 150 OPS+ leads the way, Green is 2nd (130) with Garvey and Cey finishing 3rd (127) and 4th (126). Piazza just misses leading way, he is few PA short of 3000 but given the era he played in (with some friendly ballparks to visit) Piazza’s 161 OPS+ sets the standard for any Dodger with over 2500 PA..

Guerrero was a strong MVP candidate in 1982 (3rd) 1983 (4th) and 1985 (3rd) and certainly had one of the greatest months in Dodger history, in June 1985 he hit .344/.436/.860 with 15 HR. One note, his BABIP that month was .262 due to his 29 combined HR+K that left only 17 other hits against 64 AB.

Finally, Guerrero was one the three Dodgers who were the Tri-MVP of the 1981 World Series, was part of the great run between 1980-1985, and he was a member of the 1988 team until he was traded for John Tudor, Guerrero started 50 games at first and 44 games at third until that trade. He performed well enough for the Cardinals in 1989 (145 OPS+) to finish third in the MVP vote that year.

This is a fan-written post that is in no way affiliated with or related to any of the authors or editors of True Blue LA. The opinions reflected in this post do not necessarily reflect those of True Blue LA, its authors or editors.