Our Dodger Greats series is winding down, but we’ve still got a few more interesting combos to consider. This week, we’re checking out Gavin Lux, a young star in the making, and Davey Lopes, a member of the fabled Dodgers infield of the 70s.
Second Base: Gavin Lux vs. Davey Lopes
At first glance, this one seems like an odd comparison: Gavin Lux is 24 and just finished his fourth season with the Dodgers, while Lopes’ best season in L.A. was 1978, his seventh at age 33. But that’s the fun part of this series — the stats can tell a more interesting story than we realize. Lopes played in 151 games with 665 plate appearances, while Lux played 129 with 471 plate appearances.
Let’s start with the similarities. Lopes and Lux hit 25 and 20 doubles, respectively, in their seasons. They also match up pretty evenly on batting average (.278 to .276), on-base percentage (.355 and .346) and OPS (.776 and .745, both above-average for the league in their respective years).
Lopes had far more home runs — 17 compared to Lux’s six — and batted in 58 runs, while Lux was responsible for 42. Lux also struck out more often (95 KOs total compared to 70) despite playing in fewer games, but he does have the edge on triples, collecting seven total compared to Lopes’ four.
Davey Lopes vs. Gavin Lux at Bat
Lopes vs. Lux on Offense
Awards and Honors
Davey Lopes won it all in 1978. Not only was he selected to the All-Star Game — his first of four consecutive appearances — but he also finished 16th in MVP voting and won a Gold Glove. Lux, still on the early side of his career, hasn’t scored any major awards quite yet. But he’s in good company: After finishing sixth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1973, Lopes had to wait another five years with no awards at all until his ’78 season.
Lux hopped around a bit this past season, playing at second for 102 games and splitting additional time at shortstop and the outfield. Lopes, meanwhile, played 147 games at second with a couple in the outfield as well.
In their games at second, Lopes had far more defensive chances (781) than Lux, who managed 337. Their fielding percentages, though are almost identical at .973 for Lopes and .974 for Lux. Range factor, which compares putouts and assists over every nine innings played and shows us how many plays a given fielder can make, is particularly interesting here. Lopes comes in a 5.52 in a season where the league average was 5.30, and Lux totaled a 3.60 RF/9 compared to the league average of 4.13.
Davey Lopes vs. Gavin Lux on Defense
Lopes vs. Lux on Defense