Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Mookie Betts has been everything and more since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in a February 2020 trade, and after an injury-plagued 2021 campaign, he looked to return to form last season.
Betts initially struggled but turned a corner in May and never looked back from there. Despite missing some time due to a rib fracture, he hit .264/.340/.524 with 17 doubles, 20 home runs and 47 RBI during the first half en route to a sixth career All-Star Game selection.
Betts continued to swing a hot bat over the final two-and-a-half months of the regular season and added his name to the record book in a matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 12.
Betts hit his 34th long ball of the season — all of which came while batting first in the lineup — setting a Dodgers franchise record for most home runs out of the leadoff spot in a single season. The previous record belonged to Joc Pederson, who hit 33 while leading off in 2019, and 36 total that season.
Betts finished the 2022 season batting .269/.340/.533 with 40 doubles, 35 home runs and 82 RBI in 142 games. He tied with Freddie Freeman for the National League lead with 117 runs scored, set a career high in home runs and was touted as being the spark plug for the Dodgers lineup.
Betts placed fifth in NL MVP Award voting, won the fifth Silver Slugger of his career and and was a finalist for the 2022 Hank Aaron Award, which ultimately went to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt. Betts also earned All-MLB honors by being selected to the First Team.
The 30-year-old additionally was named a 2022 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner in right field, marking the sixth of his career.
Betts led NL right fielders in Total Zone Rating (31), and was second in Ultimate Zone Rating (12.5), Outs Above Average (5) and Defensive Runs Saved (15). Furthermore, he was a leader in SABR Defensive Index (SDI) through August 28, with 11.19.
Betts also won the 2022 Fielding Bible Award in right field and was a finalist for the NL Rawlings Platinum Glove, which went to the Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado.
Mookie Betts 2022 highlight
Betts enjoyed his best performance of the 2022 season on August 26, when he went 4-for-6 with one double, two home runs, four RBI and one stolen base in the Dodgers’ 10-6 win over the Miami Marlins.
It was one of 13 games during the 2022 season in which Betts recorded at least three hits.
Betts is entering the third of the 12-year, $365 million contract extension he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2020 season and once again will be one of the team’s most important players.
Betts is among the Dodgers players who will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic for Team USA.
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