Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts has been one of the most consistent producers of the 2022 season.
His name is probably lost amid Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, and even Paul Goldschmidt‘s excellent performances, but Betts is having one of the finest seasons of his career.
That is saying a lot.
He is slashing .270/.341/.546 with 112 runs scored and 79 RBI.
He has also added 12 stolen bases for good measure.
In fact, Betts has already surpassed his career-high in home runs, with 35.
No team has enjoyed better production from the leadoff spot than the Dodgers, thanks to Betts.
“Most HR out of leadoff spot in a season: 2019 George Springer: 39; 2006 Alfonso Soriano: 39; 2002 Alfonso Soriano: 38; 2018 Francisco Lindor: 37; 2017 Charlie Blackmon: 37; 2022 Mookie Betts: 35; 2003 Alfonso Soriano: 35; 1996 Brady Anderson: 35; 1973 Bobby Bonds: 35,” MLB stats expert Sarah Langs tweeted.
Most HR out of leadoff spot in a season:
2019 George Springer: 39
2006 Alfonso Soriano: 39
2002 Alfonso Soriano: 38
2018 Francisco Lindor: 37
2017 Charlie Blackmon: 37
2022 Mookie Betts: 35
2003 Alfonso Soriano: 35
1996 Brady Anderson: 35
1973 Bobby Bonds: 35
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) September 22, 2022
Betts Can Increase His Home Run Tally
Betts still has a few days left in the regular season calendar to increase his home run tally from the leadoff spot.
With two more homers, he will tie Lindor’s 2018 total, as well as Blackmon’s 2017.
2019 Springer, to this date the premier home run total for a leadoff hitter in a season, is still within reach if Betts can finish strong.
The 2018 American League MVP is perhaps the most important member of an incredible offense, the catalyst of the group.
If Betts is out there hitting home runs, getting on base and offering a speed element, the Dodgers will score plenty of runs.
That is usually the case.
He is a bonafide MVP candidate in the National League: Goldschmidt’s presence makes Betts winning the award unlikely, but he should get some votes.
He is very much deserving of recognition and respect.