Jim Gilliam, 1956
Stats: .300/.399/.396/.794, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 178 H, 102 R, 21 SB, 108 OPS+, 235 TB
Awards: All-Star, MVP (5th in voting)
Baseball Reference WAR: 6.1
FanGraphs WAR: 6.0
Combined WAR: 6.05
Jim Gilliam spent his entire career with the Dodgers. He spent five seasons with them in Brooklyn, and then came with them to Los Angeles where he spent nine years. Today, we’ll be looking back at his 1956 campaign. It was one of two seasons during his career in which he was an All-Star, and his MVP finish of fifth was the best of his career.
Hitting wise, it was Gilliam’s best year. Here are the different stats he had career-highs in.
- Batting average
- On-base percentage
Gilliam was hitting the ball better than he ever had in his career. The 153 games he played in were the second most during his playing days.
Back in 1956, Gilliam was a .310 hitter against righties. With him being such a better hitter against a RHP than he was against a lefty, majority of his plate appearances came with a right-hander on the bump.
There were two months during the season in which Gilliam absolutely raked. The first month was in June, where he hit .336/.423/.462/.886 with 40 hits in only 30 games. He had 12 multi-hit games. Over his final 20 games in June, Gilliam hit .372 with an OPS of over 1.000.
His next great stretch came from August 2 and it stretched through September 1. Over those 30 games, Gilliam hit .387/.455/.492/.946. In only 30 games, he had 48 hits. He also scored 25 runs and walked 16 times.