Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Mookie Betts exceeded lofty expectations in his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but took a step back last year due to back and hip injuries that required multiple stints on the 10-day injured list.
Betts was limited to 122 games while playing through pain and hit .264/.367/.487 with 23 home runs, a 131 wRC+ and 3.9 WAR. Most players would be pleased with that level of production, but for the five-time All-Star, it fell short of what has become expected of him.
Now healthy again, Betts is looking to bounce back and lead the Dodgers to another World Series title.
Manager Dave Roberts expects Betts to once again be in the conversation for an MVP Award this season, via SportsNet LA:
“I can’t predict how health is going to be, but as far as going into this season, I just can’t see him not being a part of the MVP talk.”
Betts got off to a slow start in Spring Training as he had just one hit through 17 at-bats. Betts had his 2022 debut delayed twice because of a stomach bug before appearing in his first Cactus League game of the year.
The 29-year-old did hit safely in each of the final two games of the exhibition Freeway Series, going a combined 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Betts will be the primary leadoff hitter in the Dodgers lineup, which is where he feels most comfortable in the lineup. Roberts revealed Betts will be followed by Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner.
Betts received most of his opportunities at the top of the lineup last season, but was dropped down to the No. 3 spot after the team acquired Turner at the MLB trade deadline. Since joining the Dodgers, Betts has batted leadoff in 176 of his 199 starts between the regular season and postseason.
Betts ranked top-10 right fielder by The Shredder
Betts was ranked the No. 5 right fielder for the 2022 season by MLB Network’s The Shredder.
The statistical model takes into account a three-year sample, with the 2021 season being weighed most heavily. WAR and wRC+ are among the most notable statistics used to compile the rankings.
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