Mookie Betts Looking To ‘Get Back To Being Athletic’ As Dodgers Second Baseman

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a fortunate position to have multiple upper-tier offensive players for their lineup in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani, who signed this offseason.

Ohtani won his second unanimous MVP Award in his final season with the Los Angeles Angels in 2023, while Betts and Freeman finished second and third in the National League, respectively. The Dodgers have three possible MVP candidates heading into the season, with their right fielder in Betts making a rare jump to the infield.

The 31-year-old made 62 starts at second base last year, showing a sizable bump in offensive production when doing so. Posting a collective .987 on-base plus slugging with 39 home runs in his 10th big league season is more of an incentive to take a load off Betts’ body with a real opportunity to play the infield.

Betts discussed how being the everyday second baseman has changed his offseason training as he prepares for a pivotal year for the Dodgers, via SportsNet LA:

“I’m just trying to maintain that seven-eight pounds and get back to being athletic. Obviously, I’m always trying to keep my athleticism, but we’ll see. I haven’t trained to be a second baseman in a long time, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Playing the infield is a new thing for Betts in MLB as his last season with more than 10 starts at second base came during his rookie season with the Boston Red Sox in 2014.

Because of Betts’ athleticism, the Dodgers also feel very strongly about his ability to bring plus-defense to a position that is very thin in terms of premier talent.

How will Mookie Betts affect Dodgers outfield?

Betts sliding into the second base slot opens up the opportunity for Jason Heyward to use his plus-defense in right field or left field.

His left-handed bat was valuable in 2024, which became a staple when the Dodgers matched up with a right-hander pitcher. Heyward is likely to be a strict platoon hitter, which will see him paired up with a fellow outfield who bats from the right side.

Manuel Margot and Chris Taylor are who fit that bill on the roster. Taylor has more upside and the signing of Teoscar Hernández also provides the Dodgers with an everyday option.

But with Betts taking on second base, it gives the Dodgers the best offensive second baseman in MLB, while bringing stability in their infield.

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!