Raul Mondesi, 1997
Stats: .310/.360/.541/.901, 30 HR, 87 RBI, 191 H, 32 SB, 140 OPS+, .385 wOBA, 138 wRC+
Awards: Gold Glove, MVP (15th)
Baseball Reference WAR: 5.7
FanGraphs WAR: 5.7
Combined WAR: 5.7
Raul Mondesi spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Dodgers. He was an All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and the 1994 NL Rookie of the Year. His career with the Dodgers was a good one, and we’ll be looking back at his best season in blue, the 1997 campaign.
Mondesi’s 1997 season saw him join some elite company. At the time, he became the first Dodger in franchise history to have a 30/30 season, hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases. He also became the fifth player in franchise history to finish a season with at least 30 home runs and 190 hits.
He finished nearly top 10 in every offensive category in the National League in 1997:
- .310 AVG (9th)
- 191 hits (4th)
- 333 total bases (6th)
- 42 doubles (5th)
- 32 stolen bases (9th)
- 116 runs created (8th)
Though Mondesi had an overall productive season from beginning to end, June through the end of the season was when he bat really heated up. Over his final 102 games, Mondesi hit .334/.382/.574/.956. He had 19 homers, drove in 56 runs, had 134 hits and stole 22 bases.
During that 100 game stretch, there was a 31 game stretch from June 30 through August 3 in which Mondesi hit .367 with an OPS of 1.067. In those 31 games he hit 10 home runs, 11 doubles and scored 23 runs total. There were only two games during that run in which he didn’t record a hit. Extending his stretch even more, he hit safely in 38 of 41 games from the end of June into early August.