- Jackie Robinson (1949)
The Numbers: .342/.432/.528 16 HR 124 RBI 37 SB 9.6 WAR
He had some great ones, but ‘49 was probably Jackie at his statistical best. On his way to the MVP, Jackie led Brooklyn to 97 wins and the World Series. “42” accumulated 203 hits and struck out just 27 times in 593 AB’s. His dominant 1951 campaign was quite similar to this one.
- Roy Campanella (1953)
The Numbers: .312/.395/.611 41 HR 142 RBI 7.1 WAR
“Campy” would take home the second of his three MVP awards in 1953 and for a good reason. He posted an OPS north of 1.000 and led the league with 142 runs batted in. Roy earned one of his 8 All-Star selections as the Dodgers would eventually fall to the Yankees in six games in the World Series.
- Clayton Kershaw (2014)
The Numbers: W/L 21-3 1.77 ERA 198.1 IP 239 SO 197 ERA+ 1.81 FIP 0.857 WHIP 7.5 WAR
There are a few to choose from, and he still has a chance to improve on his landing spot here, but 2014 is Kershaw’s best overall piece of work. It’s not every day the MVP is a pitcher after all. Use any pitching metric you like; they will all say that Kershaw was lethal in 2014. (like most years) Clayton led the league in Wins, Winning Percentage, ERA, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, SO/9 and SO/W. Another 20 or so innings pitched, and he might’ve moved up a spot or two on this list.
- Orel Hershiser/Kirk Gibson (1988)
The Numbers: Gibson- .290/.377/.483 25 HR 31 SB/Hershiser W/L 23-8 2.26 ERA 267 IP 149 ERA+
Ok, yeah I’m cheating a bit here. But when you think of 1988, these are the first two guys that come to mind, and it felt wrong initially separating them. Hershiser had a stellar season, as he broke fellow Dodger Don Drysdale’s scoreless inning streak. Soon after, he would be a major component in dispatching the powerful Oakland A’s in the World Series. Gibson helped change the culture and turned around a team that lost 89 games the previous year. He won the MVP and continued to produce perhaps the single greatest moment in this game’s history. What a year.
- Adrian Beltre (2004)
The Numbers: .334/.388/.629 48 HR 121 RBI 9.5 WAR
That 2004 team, which busted the then 16-year long Playoff victory drought, will always hold a special place in my heart. Beltre would go on to produce one of the greatest seasons ever put out by a third baseman, reaching the 200 hit mark. He tallied a 9.5 WAR, the highest produced by a Dodger at the time since Koufax, further detailing his defensive excellence. The Dodgers bet that Beltre played far above his head in 2004, and decided the right move was to let him walk. The first five years after his departure may have proven LA right, but the last eight years and counting have proven them very wrong. Beltre now seems like a good bet for the HOF as he’s already eclipsed the 3,000 hit mark.