Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: LA Outfielder Believes Rule Changes Won’t Affect His Approach on The Base Pads

Los Angeles Dodgers superstar outfielder Mookie Betts is one of the best players in the major leagues. Heading into his age-30 season, Mookie was ranked as the fourth-best player in the league, according to MLB Network. His teammate, Freddie Freeman, cracked the top 10 list, placing him at number ten.

The dynamic duo joined the broadcast at MLB Network to discuss their rankings and expectations for the upcoming 2023 season. The topic of stolen bases was brought up, and the crew was surprised that Freeman stole more bases than Betts last season.

This is a big surprise as the six-time All-Star is a former 30-steal player known for his speed, unlike Freeman, a larger human being known for his power at the plate and aggressive approach at the plate.

That is why it was a surprise when the lefty had 13 stolen bases and Betts had 12 stolen bases last season. The duo assured the crew that Mookie would have more stolen bases this season, as Freedie will have more home runs in 2023. It led the crew to stick with the topic of stolen bases, and Betts was asked about the new rules implemented this season — specifically, the limit on how many times a pitcher can attempt to pick off a runner — if that were to lead him to steal more bases. The two-time champion says that the new rule won’t affect this approach to the bags and revealed he’s no spring chicken anymore.

“That’s asking a lot. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve slowed down… I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ll get over there to first and… I really don’t get that many opportunities because Freddie usually swings in the first two pitches so it’s hard for me. … But, probably not.”

Betts mentioned that he is not as fast as he used to be, and the numbers tell that story. His fastest season was in 2015, where he averaged 28.7 feet-per-second, the 62nd-best mark in the league. After that, the numbers dropped year-by-year from 27.1 in 2021 and jumped a bit last season to 27.3, ranking him 296th.

It’s clear Mookie would rather capture his third World Series title instead of a stolen bases title. All things point to more stolen bases in the future, but that may not be the case for Mookie.

Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).

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