Should the Dodgers Read More into Mookie Betts’ Stats at Shortstop?

Through the first 60-plus games this season, the Dodgers have looked like a force to be reckoned with offensively. But there is one glaring hole in a lineup that’s otherwise dominant.

The offensive output from the shortstop position has been nearly nonexistent through the first third of the season, but the Dodgers might have their answer sitting in right field with Mookie Betts.

In the 63 games Betts has played this season, he has played eight of them at shortstop, a position that he is playing for the first time in his 10-year MLB career.

While the position may be new to Betts, the stats look like he’s been playing there for his whole life. While it is a small sample size, in 50 innings Betts has a 95% fielding percentage while only committing one error.

The strong play at shortstop from Betts may correlate to his enthusiasm to play the position.

In spring training, Betts was practicing his play at shortstop just as much as he was at right field and second base.

In interviews in the past, Betts has been asked about his ability to play other positions around the field and Betts has always said right field is where the team needs him.

While his defense has been superb while playing at short, his bat is a huge pickup for the only portion of the lineup that has struggled on offense this season.

So, Should the Dodgers Read More In To Mookie’s Numbers at Short?

In games that Betts is at short, he is hitting .333 with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. He has an OPS that would be at the top of the league at 1.262 and a wRC+ over 200. The league average for wRC+ is 100.

Betts’ bat at shortstop is a huge upgrade over the players who are regularly playing the position for the Dodgers. Miguel Rojas, who has played 38 games at short, is hitting .208 and has two fewer RBI than Betts when playing the position.

On top of that, Rojas has yet to hit a home run and currently has a wRC+ of 35.

Defensively, Rojas has been slightly better than Betts with a fielding percentage of 98% and has only committed three errors.

If Betts were to make the move over to short, there are many options that could replace him as the everyday right fielder.

Jason Heyward has started most games that Betts has been unable to play right field, whether that’s for rest or playing another position. Heyward is batting .233 with 7 home runs this season.

With Betts at short, Heyward in left and Rojas finding himself on the bench, Heyward alone makes up for Rojas’ offensive inefficiency by having a wRC+ nearly 100 points higher at 123.

By moving one of the Dodgers’ best offensive threats to a spot where there’s been little output, it would be very hard to find any easy outs in the lineup.

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