Andrew Friedman & Dave Roberts Believe Mookie Betts Could Be Dodgers’ Long-Term Shortstop

Mookie Betts was originally expected to be the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting second baseman this season, but he moved to shortstop at the end of Spring Training due to Gavin Lux’s defensive struggles at the position.

Betts entered the year with only 16 games of MLB experience at shortstop, but has more than held his own so far and even grades out well by some metrics.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is impressed with how quick Betts has taken to the position but hasn’t decided whether they’ll look to add a shortstop at the trade deadline, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“No. But I will say that where he is right now is where we hoped he would be in July, August,” Friedman says of Betts’ defense at the new position.

“We have not started wrapping our arms around the trade deadline yet. But the point in doing this was to give Mookie a runway.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also feels comfortable enough with Betts playing full games at shortstop and not needing to substitute him in the ninth inning for Miguel Rojas:

“Right now, where he’s at, I certainly think he’s playing an above-average shortstop. I think the metrics will agree with that,” Roberts said this week, adding that he would no longer consider using Miguel Rojas as a ‘defensive closer,’ putting him in games late at shortstop and moving Betts to second.

“I’d grade him (Betts) out a solid B+ for me. And it’s hard to imagine me even saying that right now, given that he started not playing the position. So it’s really, really impressive. And it’s only going to get better.”

Through 31 games at shortstop (28 starts), Betts has a fielding percentage of .965 with four errors. He is also tied for second with seven defensive runs saved (DRS), trailing only Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals.

Aside from his solid work at shortstop, Betts has continued putting up MVP-caliber numbers at the plate. He is hitting .349/.455/.564 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 27 RBI, 32 runs scored and eight stolen bases in 178 plate appearances (38 games).

Dave Roberts marvels at Mookie Betts’ progress at shortstop

Roberts recently praised Betts for the quick progress he has made at shortstop despite not having much time to prepare for the position change.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!