Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Frank E. Thomas is listed on the White Sox roster for the duration of his career while the Yankees declare Fred McGriff and the Twins claim Rod Carew. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The print edition will be available soon. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.

Terminology

OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams

Assessment

The 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers      OWAR: 47.1     OWS: 289     OPW%: .546

Five General Managers shaped the roster of the 2012 Dodgers over a 24-year period. Henry Blanco (1989) and Miguel Cairo (1990) were acquired before Paco Rodriguez was born! 37 of the 49 team members were selected through the Amateur Draft process. Notable exceptions (signed as amateur free agents) include Hiroki Kuroda, Adrian Beltre and Carlos Santana. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 2012 Dodgers edged the Diamondbacks by two games to secure the National League Western Division crown.

Adrian Beltre paced Los Angeles with 28 Win Shares, collected his fourth Gold Glove Award and posted a .321 BA with 36 round-trippers. Three backstops made significant contributions to the Dodgers in 2012 as A.J. Ellis, Russell Martin and Carlos Santana combined for 52 circuit clouts. Matt “The Bison” Kemp batted .303 with 23 jacks in an injury-shortened campaign and first-sacker Paul Konerko swatted 26 big-flies.

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Alejandro DeAza LF/CF 2.78 17.96
A. J. Ellis C 3.86 21.15
Adrian Beltre 3B 4.16 28.4
Matt Kemp CF 2.92 20.41
Paul Konerko 1B 2.24 18.69
Shane Victorino RF/LF 2.31 18.05
Tony Abreu 2B -0.07 1.24
Dee Gordon SS -0.36 3.86
BENCH POS WAR WS
Russell Martin C 3.26 11.15
Carlos Santana C 3.12 19.28
Justin Ruggiano CF 2.24 12.17
David Ross C 1.28 7.63
Franklin Gutierrez CF 0.9 4.56
Xavier Paul LF 0.34 2.91
Trayvon Robinson LF 0.32 2.54
Elian Herrera LF 0.28 4.7
Ivan De Jesus 2B -0.08 0.71
Jason Repko CF -0.13 0.2
Jerry Sands LF -0.15 0.11
Scott Van Slyke RF -0.31 0.39
Koyie Hill C -0.33 0.17
Blake DeWitt 2B -0.36 0.21
Henry Blanco C -0.4 1.46
Josh Bell 3B -0.45 0.25
Miguel Cairo 1B -1.08 1.01
James Loney 1B -1.28 4.62

Clayton Kershaw (14-9, 2.53) led the National League in ERA and WHIP (1.023) while placing runner-up in the Cy Young balloting. Hiroki Kuroda notched a career-best 16 victories along with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.165 WHIP. The bullpen excelled as Jonathan Broxton, Joel Hanrahan and Kenley Jansen saved a collective 90 games.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Clayton Kershaw SP 6.1 19.56
Hiroki Kuroda SP 5.38 16.72
Eric Stults SP 1.71 6.82
Edwin Jackson SP 1.64 8.43
Chad Billingsley SP 1.53 8.3
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Kenley Jansen RP 1.52 13.48
Jonathan Broxton RP 1.17 10.11
Joel Hanrahan RP 1.16 10.39
Wesley Wright RP 0.84 4.61
Javy Guerra RP 0.77 5.1
Steve Johnson SP 1.53 5.08
Nathan Eovaldi SP 0.7 3.86
James McDonald SP 0.64 7.12
Scott Elbert RP 0.63 3.36
Ted Lilly SP 0.3 3.36
Paco Rodriguez RP 0.2 0.65
Josh Lindblom RP 0.11 4.07
Bryan Morris RP 0.03 0.36
Josh Wall RP -0.05 0.34
Rubby De La Rosa RP -0.17 0
Shawn Tolleson RP -0.31 1.7
Takashi Saito RP -0.83 0
Cory Wade RP -1.18 0

The “Original” 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting DIrector
Clayton Kershaw SP 6.1 19.56 Ned Colletti Logan White
Hiroki Kuroda SP 5.38 16.72 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
Adrian Beltre 3B 4.16 28.4 Fred Claire Terry Reynolds
A. J. Ellis C 3.86 21.15 Dan Evans Logan White
Russell Martin C 3.26 11.15 Dan Evans Logan White
Carlos Santana C 3.12 19.28 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Matt Kemp CF 2.92 20.41 Dan Evans Logan White
Alejandro De Aza CF 2.78 17.96 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Shane Victorino LF 2.31 18.05 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Paul Konerko 1B 2.24 18.69 Fred Claire Terry Reynolds
Justin Ruggiano CF 2.24 12.17 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Eric Stults SP 1.71 6.82 Dan Evans Logan White
Edwin Jackson SP 1.64 8.43 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Chad Billingsley SP 1.53 8.3 Dan Evans Logan White
Steve Johnson SP 1.53 5.08 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Kenley Jansen RP 1.52 13.48 Paul DePodesta Logan White
David Ross C 1.28 7.63 Fred Claire Terry Reynolds
Jonathan Broxton RP 1.17 10.11 Dan Evans Logan White
Joel Hanrahan RP 1.16 10.39 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Franklin Gutierrez CF 0.9 4.56 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Wesley Wright RP 0.84 4.61 Dan Evans Logan White
Javy Guerra RP 0.77 5.1 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Nathan Eovaldi SP 0.7 3.86 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
James McDonald SP 0.64 7.12 Dan Evans Logan White
Scott Elbert RP 0.63 3.36 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Xavier Paul LF 0.34 2.91 Dan Evans Logan White
Trayvon Robinson LF 0.32 2.54 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Ted Lilly SP 0.3 3.36 Fred Claire Terry Reynolds
Elian Herrera LF 0.28 4.7 Dan Evans Logan White
Paco Rodriguez RP 0.2 0.65 Ned Colletti Logan White
Josh Lindblom RP 0.11 4.07 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
Bryan Morris RP 0.03 0.36 Ned Colletti Logan White
Josh Wall RP -0.05 0.34 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Tony Abreu 2B -0.07 1.24 Dan Evans Logan White
Ivan De Jesus 2B -0.08 0.71 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Jason Repko CF -0.13 0.2 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Jerry Sands LF -0.15 0.11 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
Rubby De La Rosa RP -0.17 0 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
Scott Van Slyke RF -0.31 0.39 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Shawn Tolleson RP -0.31 1.7 Ned Colletti Logan White
Koyie Hill C -0.33 0.17 Kevin Malone Ed Creech
Blake DeWitt 2B -0.36 0.21 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Dee Gordon SS -0.36 3.86 Ned Colletti Tim Hallgren
Henry Blanco C -0.4 1.46 Fred Claire Ben Wade
Josh Bell 3B -0.45 0.25 Paul DePodesta Logan White
Takashi Saito RP -0.83 0 Ned Colletti Logan White
Miguel Cairo 1B -1.08 1.01 Fred Claire Ben Wade
Cory Wade RP -1.18 0 Paul DePodesta Logan White
James Loney 1B -1.28 4.62 Dan Evans Logan White

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 1973 Dodgers             OWAR: 45.9     OWS: 308     OPW%: .552

Jack Billingham (19-10, 3.04), Bill Singer (20-14, 3.22) and Don Sutton (18-10, 2.42) established a formidable rotation for the L.A. crew. Joe Ferguson (.263/25/88) topped the squad with 26 Win Shares. Ron Cey smashed 15 long balls and knocked in 80 runs in his rookie campaign. Los Angeles tied Cincinnati for second place with a record of 89-73 as Houston claimed the Western Division title with 92 victories.

On Deck

The “Original” 2005 Angels

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database

Baseball-Reference

James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.

James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive



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Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.

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