Even though his first season in Los Angeles was shortened by a pandemic, Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts made a tremendous impact. He was recognized by major league players, who voted Betts one of three finalists for the Most Outstanding Player award in the National League.
In each league, the Players Choice Awards have separate honors for position players and pitchers, but for Major League Player of the Year, everyone is in the same bucket. The three finalists for that award are White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Indians pitcher Shane Bieber, and Freeman, a strong indication that Freeman will win the NL award.
But that’s not to denigrate Betts’ season, as the best player on the team with the best record in baseball in 2020.
Betts hit .292/.366/.562, a 149 wRC+, with 16 home runs, 39 RBI, and 47 runs scored. He led the NL in Baseball Reference WAR (3.4) and ranked second behind Freeman in FanGraphs WAR (3.0).
In addition to the all-around play, excelling on defense and running the bases, Betts has already established himself as a leader in the Dodgers clubhouse.
“It’s been a huge thing for us, watching a guy as talented as he is and being able to do all these different things,” Corey Seager said of Betts last week. “The best player in the world doing that, being on your team is just great to watch.”
Betts won the players vote as the American League Outstanding Player in 2018, the same season he won American League MVP.