The Perfect 10: The Greatest Dodger Outfield
In Part 2, the greatest Dodger outfield is decided by statistics (just like in part 1 of the perfect 10). The criteria will also be the same as part one. The players will be judged on a combination of total at-bats (AB), batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), stolen bases (SB), runs batted in (RBI’s) and postseason performance. The defensive criteria will consist of games played at selected position, errors, put-outs (PO), and overall fielding percentage.
Everyone in this article, whether chosen or not, is a Dodger legend and deserves the utmost respect. However, the ones who end up on the lineup do so because they gave more to the Dodgers than anyone else in there respective positions. Each one has earned their spot on the perfect 10.
Left Field: Dusty Baker
This has been the hardest choice so far on this list. No two players have had as many similarities as Dusty Baker and Tommy Davis (within this article series). Both wear number 12, both bat/throw right, and both played with the Dodgers for eight seasons. The similarities don’t stop there. Dusty played 1,091 games at left field. Davis played 1,103 (a mere 12 game difference). Each of them had 13 DP while playing left field. Baker ends up getting the spot because he has over 200 more PO (1,861) than Davis (1,632) and a higher field percentage. Baker beats Davis’ .971 FLD % with his .974 FLD %. This is evident considering Baker has 20 less errors at LF with 30. Baker’s two Gold Gloves doesn’t hurt his chances either.
The Perfect 10: Greatest Dodger Offense
Baker pulls ahead a bit more on the offensive side as well. He has a lower BA at .281 to Davis’ .304; but was on base more with an OBP of .343. Davis is not too far behind with a .338 OBP. Dusty also beats out Davis (465 RBI’s) in the amount of runs he drove in with 586 RBI’s. In terms of speed they were pretty close but Baker comes out on top again with seven more steals at 73 SB. Baker also gets the spot because, in the same amount of time, he was able to have 4,552 AB; leaving Davis behind with 2,999 AB. This reliability allows him to do more for the Dodgers at the plate.
Postseason/ Pressure Performance
Dusty Baker secures his spot on the perfect 10 by having outstanding postseason performances. In 149 AB he maintained a .282 BA, and a .343 OBP with 21 RBI’s. Davis did well but drove in less runs under pressure with only five postseason RBI’s. In 67 AB Davis held an impressive .313 BA, and a .333 OBP. Baker was on base more and contributed more runs when it mattered most. This ability solidifies his place in the greatest Dodger outfield.
Centerfield: Duke Snider
One reason Snider gets the center field position over Willie Davis because he did more at the plate in 6,640 AB than Davis did in 7,495 AB. Duke maintained a .300 BA, and .384 OBP with a whopping 1,271 RBI’s. In Davis’ 7,495 AB as a Dodger he hit a .279 BA, and a .312 OBP with 849 RBI’s. Though his stats are impressive, Snider is on base more and is basically an RBI machine leading the league with 136 in the ’55 season. Davis does beats Duke in stolen bases with 335 SB. Snider doesn’t even come close with 99 SB but he was not only on base more but did more for the Dodgers on the scoreboard than Davis. That amazing consistency at the plate gets him his spot on the perfect ten.
The Perfect 10 Defense
If this position is chosen on defense alone, Davis gets the spot over Snider. In Davis’ 2,239 (4th all-time) games at center field he has 5,279 PO (5th all-time) with 121 errors (8th all-time). This gives him a 978 FLD %. These stats put Davis in the top ten all-time best for PO, E, and games played. And he has three Gold Gloves to show for it. Though he doesn’t match Davis defensively, Snider still gets the spot because he isn’t that far behind. In his 1,589 (29th all-time) games at center field he has 3,641 PO (35th all-time), 58 errors (55th all-time), and a FLD % of .985. Being in the top 100 in PO, E, and games played at center means he is still protecting his part of the field. Plus his bat makes up for the difference.
Postseason/ Pressure Performance
When it comes to clutch time, Snider come out on top again. Though both he and Davis have two World Series rings each, Snider contributed far more to the Dodger’s postseason success. In Snider’s 133 AB he maintained a .286 BA, and a .351 OBP with 26 RBI’s. Davis has the misfortune of being one of those players who is an amazing regular season asset, but a postseason liability. In his 56 AB he has a BA of .179, and a OBP of .190 with three RBI’s. Snider’s consistency comes through for him again with a postseason performance almost just as good as his legendary regular seasons. Clearly the Dodgers can count on Snider to deliver no matter what; and that reliability get him his spot on the perfect ten.
Right Field: Shawn Green
Choosing the greatest Dodger right fielder is not easy. Reggie Smith was considered but he gave his best to the Boston Red Sox. Smith’s Dodger stats are impressive but he has half the the AB and games played as Green. This means it comes down to Raul Mondesi and Shawn Green. Green gets the spot. Though he played two years less on the Dodgers than Mondesi he gave just as much to the franchise; and in some cases more.
In Green’s 3,012 AB in Dodger blue he maintained a .280 BA, and a .366 OBP with 509 RBI’s. Even with Mondesi’s two extra years he barely beat out Green with 518 RBI’s. Green would have caught up in a few more games if he had the chance. The fact that he is two years behind Mondesi and that close helps him secure his spot in the greatest Dodger outfield. Mondesi barely beats Green in BA with a .288; but falls behind in OBP with a .334. This proves Green not only drives in more runs, but will also be on base more frequently.
The Perfect Ten Defense
This is another case where Green’s two year deficit has no effect on how he stacks up against Mondesi. Green played 1,630 games at right field with 3,053 PO, and only 46 errors giving him a .986 FLD %. Mondesi played 1,325 games at right field with 2,571 PO, and 65 errors giving him a .976 FLD %. Green was able to play over 300 more games and commit less errors despite playing two years less than Mondesi. Green more than proves himself worthy over Raul and will protect his patch of field more efficiently.
Postseason/ Pressure Performance
Green pulls ahead once again when it comes to performing under pressure. In Green’s 48 postseason at-bats he maintained a .292 BA, and .358 OBP with 7 RBI’s. Mondesi falls behind with 32 AB, a .219 BA, .342 OBP and 3 RBI’s. Green seems to be one of those players whose numbers don’t start to dwindle in the postseason. Though Mondesi doesn’t have awful postseason stats, there is a clear dip in contact when it comes to his BA. Green’s consistency at the plate and in the field earn him his position on the Dodger perfect ten.
The Perfect 10 All Together Now
Each one of these outfielders sits in the top 100 all-time best in put-outs, and games played at (their respective positions). Green and Baker are in the top 100 all-time best when it comes to FLD % in right and left field. They both have Gold Gloves to show for it. Snider is a hall of fame and 8x all-star who enjoys a spot in the top 100 best all-time RBI’s. And even though home-runs aren’t a part of the criteria, his 407 career HR (56th all-time) prove he has power. Green almost breaks the top 100 with 328 HR (112th all-time) providing more power to the greatest Dodger outfield. Baker and Green also prove their consistency in the batter’s box by each having a Silver Slugger titles. Baker has two.
Between the 3 of them there they have 12 all-star appearances. This is a defensively impenetrable outfield who rob opposing teams of home-runs while also hitting their own. When combining them with the greatest Dodger infield (discussed in Part 1), one starts to see the behemoth this perfect ten will ultimately become.
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