Another decade has come to an end for the Los Angeles Dodgers. One in which they have won two pennants, four NLDS, and have won the NL West for the last seven years straight. It takes a lot of great players to produce results like that, and this Dodgers All-Decade team will highlight some of them. Like the Boston Red Sox All-Decade team, each player is represented by their best season and used only once. So here is the Los Angeles Dodgers All-Decade Team.
Starting Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw (2014)
Clayton Kershaw needs no introduction. He would likely be on any MLB-wide, All-Decade Team. Kershaw is already listed as number two on the All-Time Top 24 Players in Dodgers franchise history, at Baseball-Reference. In this decade alone he has been an All-Star eight times, won three Cy Young Awards, an MVP, and a Gold-Glove. This makes it difficult to choose one season to represent him on this team. But in 2014 Clayton threw 198.1 innings of 1.77 ERA and .857 WHIP baseball. Kershaw went 21-3 with three no-decisions. He was an All-Star, Cy Young winner, and National League MVP. Clayton Kershaw is one of only 10 players to win the Cy Young and MVP in the same season. So, 2014 is the season used.
Relief Pitcher: Kenley Jansen (2017)
Kenley Jansen has also had multiple dominant seasons this past decade. He was a three-time All-Star, he placed fifth in the Cy Young voting and 15th in MVP voting in 2017. 2016 and 2017 were pretty close—both absolutely dominant. In the runner-up year, Kenley was an All-Star with 47 saves, 1.83 ERA, .670 WHIP, and 13.6 K/9. In 2017 he only blew one save. Jansen saved 41 games with an ERA of 1.32, 109 strikeouts, .746 WHIP, 14.4 K/9, and 15.57 K/W. That was also the year he was an All-Star, fifth in Cy Young voting, and 15th in MVP voting. Therefore, 2017 is the year used.
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal (2016)
Yasmani Grandal was an honorable mention on the overall list of top 10 catchers of the decade. He is known across MLB for being one of the best pitch-framers around. Grandal is also a switch-hitter who is capable of hitting it out from both sides of the plate, though he hits most of his homers as a lefty. His best season with the Dodgers came in 2016, though a case can be made for 2017. 2016 was his chosen season based on higher OPS, more HR, more RBI, and finishing 22nd in MVP voting. Grandal batted a somewhat low .228, but that did not stop him from hitting 27 homers, 72 RBI, and having an OPS of .816. This is why he is in the discussion for the top 10 catchers of the decade, overall, and definitely at the top of the Dodgers.
First Base: Max Muncy (2018)
Max Muncy has a great story of persistence. He broke into the league with the Oakland Athletics in 2015 and played in 45 games. In those 45 games, he slashed .206/.268/.392, and he did even worse when he got called up in 2016. He slashed .186/.308/.257, with five combined home runs over those two years. Not very surprisingly, Oakland released him in 2017. Farhan Zaidi knew Max from Oakland. He knew Max walked 20 times and struck out 24 times in his 113 AB, with his .186 batting average. He knew Muncy has good patience, a good eye, and he makes contact.
Zaidi decided to offer him the chance to see how the Dodgers could help him by signing him to a minor league deal. Muncy spent 2017 adjusting his swing, and in 2018 he had his breakout year. That year was the best performance of the decade for a Dodger first baseman. Muncy batted .263 with 35 home runs, 79 RBI, and an OPS of .973. He placed 15th in MVP voting, but first in the hearts of Dodger fans. He repeated that performance the following year, and being only 29, he has plenty of years left in him.
Second Base: Jeff Kent (2005)
There are a lot of people who think that Jeff Kent should be in Cooperstown. He hit more home runs as a second baseman than anyone else in history. And he also finished ahead of two HOF second basemen in BA, RBI, and SLG. Kent was the NL MVP in 2000. He was the Silver Slugger in 2000 through 2002 and again in 2005. Kent was also an All-Star in 1999 through 2001 and in 2004 through 2005. But Hall of Fame or not, his 2005 season earned him a spot on the Dodgers All-Decade team. Kent batted .289 with 29 homers, 105 RBI, an OPS of .889, and six stolen bases. He was an All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and finished 19th in MVP voting. That is excellent production out of second base.
Third Base: Justin Turner (2017)
Justin Turner is another Dodger success story. Turner was a utility player for the New York Mets who batted .280 with two home runs in 2013. Turner was in the midst of a major overhaul on his approach at the plate, and his swing. But that was not good enough for Mets management, which they showed in the form of a non-tender after the 2013 season. Turner was unemployed and playing in a CSU, Fullerton alumni game where Tim Wallach, the bench coach for the Dodgers, saw him. Turner was offered a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, and he never looked back. Turner’s new swing and approach at the plate made him the most productive Dodger, and his excellent productivity continues. His All-Decade Team performance came in 2017, although cases can be made for another year or two.
In 2017 Justin batted .322 with 21 home runs, 71 RBI, with an OPS of .945, and seven stolen bases. He also played a solid third base, as usual, with a fielding percentage of .969. Turner was also an All-Star and finished eighth in MVP voting. Now that is the type of player you want manning the hot corner.
Shortstop: Corey Seager (2016)
When the Dodgers called Corey Seager up in early September of 2015, they knew they had someone special. He made his presence felt immediately when given his chance by slashing .337/.425/.561 with four homers. He also walked almost as much as he struck out (14/19, respectively). But that was a small sample size across 98 at-bats. So what can he do with a full season of at-bats? Seager answered that question with the campaign that earned his spot on the All-Decade Team.
In 2016 Corey was the NL Rookie of the Year, an All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and came in third place in the MVP voting. He slashed .308/.365/.512 with 26 long-balls, 40 doubles, 72 RBI, and an OPS of .877. And, the best part about that season is that he played well-over half of his games in a pitcher-friendly environment. Those stats were very similar to Trevor Story’s stats over at Coors Field. Seager is just entering his 26-year-old season, so he is entering his prime years. Another few years like he has had so far, and his brother’s nickname will be “Corey’s Brother.”
Outfield: Matt Kemp (2011), Cody Bellinger (2019), Joc Pederson (2019)
Starting in right field for the Dodgers All-Decade Team is Matt Kemp, who put together a year that has had Dodgers fans outraged for years. One may wonder why the fans would be outraged in a year that saw Kemp come up one homer shy of being the fifth member of the 40-40 club. And, the only member not tied to any steroid lists, accusations, or admissions. The outrage was due to the fact that he placed second in MVP voting, with arguably better stats than Ryan Braun. Also, the MVP tested positive for a PED. Kemp slashed .324/.399/.586 for an OPS of .986. He had 39 homers, 40 stolen bases, 126 RBI, and scored 115 runs. He was an All-Star, second in MVP, a Silver Slugger, and won a Gold Glove (which the MVP did not accomplish). MVP or not, his performance definitely qualifies him for the Dodgers All-Decade Team.
Our starting center fielder did, in fact, win the National League MVP in 2019. Cody Bellinger also won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and was an All-Star—in only his third MLB season. Cody was another in the long line of Dodger Rookie of The Year winners. But in his MVP campaign, Cody slashed .305/.406/.629, which is an OPS of 1.035. Also, he hit 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and he scored 121 times. Bellinger accomplished all of this in his 23-year-old season. It will be very interesting to see what this young man does in this coming decade. Odds are, he will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.
Starting in left field for the Dodgers All-Decade Team is Joc Pederson. Joc has been on the big club since his small cup of coffee in 2014. It is hard to believe that it has already been six seasons. Since he almost won the Home Run Derby in his rookie year, it has been obvious that Joc can punish pitchers. Pederson put a nice season together last year to display that power to the league. He slashed .249/.339/.538 for an OPS of .876. Joc smashed 36 long-balls, with a career-high 74 RBI. If Joc continues to improve, and rake as he has shown, then he could very well be on the next All-Decade Team as well.
- Justin Turner (2017)
- Corey Seager (2016)
- Matt Kemp (2011)
- Cody Bellinger (2019)
- Max Muncy (2018)
- Joc Pederson (2019)
- Jeff Kent (2005)
- Yasmani Grandal (2016)
- Clayton Kershaw (2014)
- Adrian Gonzales (2014)
- Manny Ramirez (2009)
- Kike Hernandez (2018)
- Yasiel Puig (2017)
- Hanley Ramirez (2013)
- Andre Ethier (2010)
- Clayton Kershaw (2014)
- Zack Greinke (2015)
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (2019)
- Walker Buehler (2018)
- Alex Wood (2017)
- Kenley Jansen (2017)
- Pedro Baez (2018)
- Josh Fields (2018)
- J.P Howell (2015)
- Ronald Belisario (2012)
The Dodgers have been among the most successful teams for the last decade, though they have not won a championship. They have been to the World Series twice in the last three years. And since a lot of the All-Decade players are still on the team today, it seems as though they will be in the mix for years to come. They have been in the post season seven-straight years and are now looking for their eighth-consecutive NL West title. It will be interesting to watch this year’s team play, if and when a season begins. This season begins the new decade. “It’s Time For Dodgers Baseball!”
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