Mookie Betts is on the fast-track to the Hall of Fame. At just 28 years old, the outfielder’s resume already includes an MVP with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, and two World Series rings, the first with Boston and the next with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. Betts’ career hasn’t been quite as spectacular as Mike Trout’s, but there’s an argument for him being the second best player of his generation.
For all of his greatness, Betts has gotten off to a slow start this season. He’s hitting just .250/.361/.431 at the plate for a Dodgers team that is currently two games behind the San Francisco Giants for the division lead. Those numbers aren’t bad by any stretch, but they’re not good for Betts. Fortunately, there’s so much more to Betts’ game than just hitting, and he proved that against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
During a tie game in the second inning, Betts made a wonderful lunging catch in right field, spun around, and fired a strike to home plate to nail Pittsburgh runner Erik Gonzalez before he could score. This is the one of the best defensive plays of the year.
Betts also began off the game with a lead-off home run, his sixth of the year, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead from the very first at-bat.
This is why LA gave Betts a 12-year, $365 million deal, and why he’s one of the game’s very best. Sorry, Red Sox fans. Trading Betts from Boston to LA isn’t going to stop stinging any time soon.