The regular season accolades just keep piling up for the Dodgers’ longest contracted player, Mookie Betts.
On Thursday, the Dodgers’ right fielder was awarded the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award. This is Betts’ third straight Silver Slugger Award and his first while playing for the Dodgers. It is his fourth overall such award.
The Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award is the top offensive honor in Major League Baseball. Coaches and managers of Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in the field in both the American and National Leagues. They base their selections on a combination of offensive statistics including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches’ and managers’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. Managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
In his first season with the Boys in Blue, Betts hit .292 with nine doubles, 16 homers, 10 stolen bases and 39 RBI in 55 games. The Nashville, TN native ranked among the National League leaders is most offensive categories. He was tied for 10th in hits, was fourth in runs with 47, and was sixteenth in batting average. He had a .366 OPB, a .562 slugging percentage, and an OPS of .927. He also tallied 123 total bases, 26 extra-base hits, 10 steals, and 16 homers, which tied him for third in the National League.
Mookie has made the most of being with his new team. Traded with fellow teammate David Price from the Boston Red Sox for Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs, Betts then signed a 12 year extension contract with the Dodgers worth $365 million. He took the whole team under his wing, starting by standing up the first day of Spring Training and expressing what it would take to win the World Series. He then demonstrated his work ethic on and off the field, taking grounders every day in the infield and helping teammates with their at-bats.
Betts won a Gold Glove for his defense in right field on Tuesday evening. He showed his defensive prowess throughout the season and the playoffs, making spectacular plays that changed the course of some of the games.
Betts culminated his stellar regular season by leading the Dodgers to a World Championship and hitting safely in 14 of 18 playoff games, while batting .296 with eight doubles, two homers, six stolen bases and eight RBI. Additionally, he recorded his 1,000th career hit and 500th career RBI in the 2020 campaign and is one of 18 outfielders in MLB history with four or more Louisville Silver Slugger Awards.
The perennial All-Star is still waiting on the results of one more award this season. Betts was one of three players nominated for the NL MVP award. He is joined by Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres, and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves.
Regardless of the outcome of that award, Betts has proven that he was worth the money in his contract. Dodger fans are very lucky to be able to watch him for the next 12 seasons, and these awards are just the first of many for Betts while wearing Dodger Blue.