During the introductory festivities at Dodger Stadium for Mookie Betts and David Price, manager Dave Roberts shared some thoughts on the excitement he has for the new lineup the club will have this upcoming season.
And focusing on the lineup, he was asked about where he sees his new star slotting in 1-9.
I might have been able to go through some notebook paper and put down some potential lineups… but to see Mookie in right field — where he’s won gold gloves and platinum gloves — and to see him at the top of the order, I think that makes a lot of sense.
And there you have it! Put that man’s name in pen at the top of the order night in and night out and go win some ball games — that seems to be Doc Roberts’ tentative plan going forward. And it’s a great plan.
Condensed Introductory Press Conference
First, Betts has batting average over .300 (.302) batting leadoff in his career. Importantly, he also sports an on-base percentage over.370 (.373) in 563 games out of the 1-hole. Last season he lead major league baseball with 135 runs scored.
All of these are great/elite numbers, especially out of the leadoff spot. And while the Dodgers haven’t exactly struggled with their table-setter in recent years, they certainly haven’t excelled either.
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For the better part of the last couple of seasons, Joc Pederson has been Doc’s go-to at the top of the lineup. At least against right-handed pitching. While he’s cranked 51 home runs during that time, he’s also had issues getting on base consistently. With an OBP just south of .340 in his career, his skills as a streaky power hitter are more wasted out of the leadoff spot than not.
So while it’s easy to look at Mookie Betts as a superstar added to the Dodgers for the name alone, he also very much fills needs that this club has as it looks to finally add a new World Series trophy to the mantle in 2020.