Dodgers: Roberts Envisions Mookie and Others Rotating Leadoff Duties
When the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts a few weeks back, everyone envisioned him hitting leadoff in a powerful lineup. And as expected, Mookie will be hitting at the top of Los Angeles’ lineup as confirmed by Dave Roberts.
Mookie has expressed interest at hitting at the top of the lineup …. Roberts says that’s what we’re gonna do pic.twitter.com/MxnPyh7MU9
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) February 21, 2020
Mookie hit leadoff for the Red Sox in over 70 percent of his career plate appearances with Boston over six years. In those 2650 plate appearances at the top of the lineup, Betts is slashing .302/.373/.537 with 110 home runs.
The move to pair him with a left-handed hitter like Joc Pederson is likely going to be based on pitching matchups for the Dodgers. Against right-handed pitching, it is easy to see Joc sliding back into a role he became quite familiar with in 2019. Joc received the bulk of his plate appearances from that first spot in the lineup and hit 33 of his 36 home runs from there.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts said he talked with Mookie Betts and he will be the primary leadoff hitter. Might move to No. 2 occasionally against RH pitching (to put a lefty like Joc Pederson leadoff). "That's where he feels comfortable and that's where we're at right now."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 21, 2020
While he may not have the on-base percentage coaches would like to see from the leadoff spot, Joc certainly provides the pop. A career .339 OBP guy, Pederson paces well behind Mookie’s career mark of 374.
The uniqueness of the Dodgers lineup presents the team with several opportunities though. Max Muncy is a guy that can fit into the leadoff spot, especially given his consistency with the team the past two years. Muncy has a very high .381 on-base percentage in his two seasons with LA.
Regardless of who is hitting leadoff, the Dodgers’ lineup is packed full of power and potential. At the very least, 2020 is shaping up to be one full of offensive highlights.