Mookie Betts is coming off a down season by his standards, but was still ranked a top-10 right fielder heading into the 2022 season by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Ahead of Betts (No. 5) on the list are Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves at No. 1, then Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.
The Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker (No. 6), free agent Nick Castellanos, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez, Brandon Nimmo of the New York Mets and Hunter Renfroe of the Milwaukee Brewers rounded out Olney’s top-10 ranking of right fielders.
Olney amassed his annual list by receiving input from evaluators and others around baseball. The Dodgers also have been represented by Blake Treinen (No. 4, relief pitcher), Walker Buehler (No. 6, starting pitcher), Will Smith (No. 4, catcher), Max Muncy (No. 7, first base), Chris Taylor (No. 8, second base), Trea Turner (No. 3, shortstop), Justin Turner (No. 7, third base), AJ Pollock (No. 7, left field), Cody Bellinger (No. 7, center field).
Even with two separate stints on the 10-day injured list because of right hip trouble, Betts earned a fifth career All-Star Game selection and finished the season batting .264/.367/.487 with 29 doubles, 23 home runs and 58 RBI.
The 29-year-old treated the pain with rest and received two cortisone injections that provided temporary relief. While it was initially believed Betts would need to undergo hip surgery this offseason, he will avoid an operation.
Betts has since resumed hitting and is expected to be good to go for the start of the 2022 season.
Betts attended Rams’ playoff win over Cardinals
Despite uncertainty hovering over the start of Spring Training and potentially the 2022 regular season due to the MLB lockout, Betts has been plenty active this offseason.
He married longtime girlfriend Brianna Hammonds in December, vacationed in Mexico and spoke to the Kentucky basketball team after the CBS Sports Classic.
Betts more recently attended the L.A. Rams’ win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL Wild Card round and competed in the 2022 PBA Players Championship. He is now scheduled to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am later this month.
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