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Dodgers: Mookie Betts Ranked as the Fifth-Best RF In Baseball by MLB Expert

Dodgers superstar right fielder Mookie Betts is one of the best players in baseball. For ESPN’s Buster Olney, Betts is the fifth best right fielder entering the 2022 MLB season.

Olney had this to say in regards to Betts’ ranking:

“He dealt with a series of nagging injuries last season that limited him to 122 games, and his OPS+ — which was a staggering 186 in 2018, when he was the AL MVP — fell to 128 last season.”

Betts battled through back, hand, and hip injuries in 2021. His hip pain, caused by bone spurs, required two cortisone shots to help Mookie manage the pain.

To Olney’s point, Betts played in just 122 games for the Dodgers last year. It was his lowest total since becoming a full-time big leaguer in 2015.

That being said, Betts still finished seventh at his position in both wRC+ (131) and WAR (3.9). He ranked fifth in walk rate (12.4%) and had the third lowest strikeout rate (15.6%). Defensively, Betts ranked in the top ten in both DRS (8th) and UZR (8th) for right fielders.

Even a down year for Mookie is still a pretty damn good year for most.

Regardless, his 2021 season wasn’t up to the standard that Betts has set for himself.

Final Betts Thoughts

Olney’s interestingly ranked Ronald Acuña Jr. as the top right fielder in spite of the fact that Acuña missed the last 82 games of the season, and the Braves October championship run, with a knee injury.

Let’s get one thing straight, us folks here at Dodgers Nation have a ton of respect for Olney’s knowledge and charisma. Buster is the man. He’s even been kind of enough to appear on the Blue Heaven Podcast.

However, it seems like the the affect of Acuña’s and Betts’ injury-riddled 2020 seasons on their pre-season 2022 rankings is inconsistent.

All signs point to a healthy Betts getting back to his MVP-caliber consistency in 2022.

Perhaps he’ll be a bit higher when it comes time for the 2023 rankings.

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Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

One Comment

  1. I fear Mookie’s hip will eventually be a problem again. Bone spurs don’t go away as far as I know. I wish he’d had early surgery to remove them…unless it could permanently impact his speed.

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