I know not all of you are on Twitter, so some of you may have missed this. But earlier in the season, there were actually people out there who were questioning the Mookie Betts trade.
Betts was “struggling”, and fans were actually concerned the Dodgers got fleeced in their mega-deal for the superstar. What I’ve learned over the years is just to ignore dumb people on Twitter, because wow that take looks even more hilarious now.
Through the first half of the season, Betts didn’t look like his normal self. His numbers weren’t what they usually are and he just looked a bit off all around the field. He didn’t look as comfortable in the box, running the bases or in the field. Still, he was having a better season than most players in the league.
After being named to the All-Star team, Betts opted to pass and take the week to get healthy. He revealed he was dealing with some nagging injuries all season, which made sense.
After July 9, Betts was hitting .245 with an OPS of .799. Now, like I mentioned earlier, an OPS of .800 would be a career-year for a lot of players across the show. That number wouldn’t be concerning at all. But with Betts, it’s a season-long slump almost. Coming into the season his career OPS was .895. He was nearly 100 points worse than his career average.
Well, if you were concerned at all last month... you can kiss those concerns goodbye, because Mookie is back.
Over his last eight games, Betts is 17-for-31 (.548 AVG) with six home runs and four doubles. He’s driven in 10 runs and scored 16 runs of his own. His OPS during this stretch is 1.863. Yeah, that’s pretty good.
In eight games, Betts has raised his average from .249 to .274 and has raised his OPS from .799 to .900. Just like that, he’s having a normal Mookie Betts season.
“I think it’s just a wave,” he said the other night when asked about his recent success. “It’s a long season. You go through waves of power and no power and I’m just riding the wave.”
Well, the Dodgers are certainly riding the wave as well. They are 6-1 in his last seven starts, feeding off his success at the plate. It’s no coincidence the Dodgers are a significantly better team when Betts is in the lineup.
In his second game after the All-Star break, Betts re-injured his hip that has been lingering all season. After missing a weeks worth of games, Betts was placed on the injured list. He ended up missing about two weeks in total. While he was sidelined with the injury, the Dodgers went 5-8. They desperately missed his offense, as they scored three runs or fewer in seven of the 13 games.
“He feels good,” manager Dave Roberts said when asked about Betts’ recent surge at the plate. “Any player that feels good physically, it gives them a better chance to perform. He’s seeing the baseball really well. Just really good swings since he’s come back.”
Betts has proven that he’s one of the most valuable players in all of baseball. His 3.8 bWAR is currently tied for the 17th best in baseball. That’s also while missing about 20 games worth of action. That would put Betts on a 162-game pace for a WAR of about 7.5. Yeah, I’ll take that any day of the week.
It took some time, but he finally looks like himself at the plate again. He’s been playing fantastic defense.
Mookie Betts looks like Mookie Betts again.
Teams: Dodgers (65-44) vs. Angels (55-54)
Location: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network