The Los Angeles Dodgers have become intertwined with Driveline Baseball over recent years, and this past offseason Mookie Betts joined the growing list of players to visit their facility.
Betts made his way up to Driveline in Seattle, where he worked on hitting and other drills. The data-driven training facility was established in 2008 and has continued to grow in popularity as its approaches become more mainstream.
“My employer told me I need to go, so that’s how I ended up there,” Betts said with a smile.
The takeaway from his experience was Betts needing to gain weight by adding muscle to his frame.
“That’s pretty much it,” Betts said. “Just continue to play the same game I’ve been playing and get a little stronger. I think I’ve gained about eight or nine pounds so far. We’ll see how it works.”
Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Alex Wood and Chris Taylor are others who have visited Driveline during their Dodgers careers.
Driveline utilizes science and technology, including motion capture assessments, physical therapy evaluations, and specialized assessment-retest-based pitching, hitting and high-performance coaching, to help players optimize their mechanics and performance.
Betts is coming off a relatively healthy season in which he batted .269/.340/.533 with 40 doubles, 35 home runs and 82 RBI while playing in 142 games.
Betts tied with Freddie Freeman for the National League with 117 runs scored, set a career high in home runs, earned a sixth career selection to the All-Star Game, and won both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for the sixth time in his career.
His only time missed was a brief stint on the 10-day injured list due to a right rib fracture that was a result of colliding with Cody Bellinger. It was an encouraging development for Betts, who was limited throughout 2021 by a bone spur in his right hip.
Mookie Betts no longer vegan
A common criticism of Betts over recent years was a widely-held belief he was vegan. Betts did have such a diet earlier in his career but only reverted to such a lifestyle for a brief stretch in 2021.
That decision spawned from Betts having high cholesterol at the time and his family’s history of related health issues.
Although Betts is not vegan, he has largely eliminated dairy, which was a diet Kiké Hernandez, Corey Seager and Justin Turner notably adopted after Chase Utley introduced it to the Dodgers clubhouse.
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