Davey Lopes, famed 1B coach for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007-2010, is moving on to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2011 season… and bringing his mastery of stealing bases with him. There’s no question that the Dodgers are bringing him into the fold to do one thing – steal more bases... and do it more efficiently. That is just what he will help the Dodgers do.
Drawing upon his experience as a proficient base-stealer during his time as a player, Lopes’ contribution as the Phillies' first-base coach has been praised by both players and coaches alike. He is known for his careful observation of the opposing pitcher... timing the pitches with a stop-watch. Runners rely heavily on his judgment when determining the optimal pitch to steal on.
*In each of Lopes' 3 seasons with the Phillies, the team led the majors in stolen base percentage.
*The Phillies had the best team SB% in MLB history in 2007 — 87.9% (138-for-157).
*Philly finished 2nd or 3rd in total steals in each of the seasons Lopes was with them.
*Shane Victorino went from 4 steals in 415 Abs in 2006 to 37 steals in 456 Abs in 2007 when Lopes arrived.
*Jason Werth stole 20 bases in 2008, and then 20 more in 2009… getting caught 4 times total between the 2 seasons.
*Everyone became more efficient.
Who will it affect on the Dodgers in 2011…and how much?
*Matt Kemp was 19/34 last season in SB attempts. He will almost assuredly get back to his 35+ SBs with Lopes there… with the potential to steal more than 40 bases.
*Rafael Furcal, already a pretty efficient base-stealer, could easily get back to his 30+ SB ways (he had 22 last season in under 100 games) if healthy.
*James Loney was 10/15 in SB attempts last season. He’s a darkhorse for double-digit steals again this year... possibly 12-15 even. This would make him a legitimate CI play.
*Everyone else will likely see a slight bump in their SB numbers as well.