Sarah's Take: Tom Goodwin
Tom Goodwin did not join the Los Angeles Dodgers until July 31, but he has made his contributions to them since then. Though Goodwin strikes out too much for a lead-off hitter, he had a better on-base percentage than other Dodger lead-off hitters. His speed helped both the offense and defense. Because of his strikeouts, many Dodger fans do not want to keep Goodwin for the upcoming season, but Goodwin probably will be the Dodger center fielder in 2001.
Tom Goodwin had a good year in Colorado marred by a nagging groin injury before the Rockies traded him to Los Angeles. With the Rockies Goodwin had a .271 batting average, five home runs, and 47 RBI. Though he did not do as well in Los Angeles as he did in Denver, with the Dodgers he had a .251 batting average, one home run, and 11 RBI. His on-base percentage of .310 was brutal for a lead-off hitter. He cannot make solid contact with fastballs resulting in many strikeouts. While with the Dodgers, Goodwin had 41 strikeouts and 18 walks. Using sheer speed instead of getting good jumps, he has stolen a lot of bases during his career. With the Dodgers this year Goodwin stole sixteen bases and was caught three times. In 2000 he stole 55 bases, the second most in the National League.
Defensively Goodwin helped the Dodgers immensely. Because his throwing arm is weak, he does not throw out many runners. His speed has enabled him to roam large areas of center field. As a Dodger in 2000 he had a range of 2.55 while the National League had an average range of 1.86. His large range helped Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green field their positions better. In 55 games with the Dodgers he committed no errors.
Though Tom Goodwin is not the best center fielder in the National League, he gave the Dodgers what they needed in 2000. He gave them speed and a stable center fielder. In 2001 he probably will be the Dodger center fielder, but the Dodgers need to find another player to lead-off.