Simon: Mookie Betts is a dominant defensive player

From SABR member Mark Simon at ACTA Sports on February 12, 2020:

When we say Mookie Betts is on the move, that has a couple of meanings. One is that he’s headed to the Dodgers in the recently-completed trade with the Red Sox. The other is that when Betts is on the move when in the field, he’s usually going to do something notable.

Betts saved 93 runs with his defense in right field the last four seasons. The next-closest right fielder in that span is Aaron Judge with 45. Betts had back-to-back seasons of 30 Runs Saved in 2016 and 2017. He slipped to 17 in 2018, but that was still good enough to lead the majors in right field. His 16 Runs Saved last season trailed only his new Dodgers teammate Cody Bellinger (who will likely move to center field) and Judge (each with 20).

There are a number of ways in which Betts has racked up Runs Saved. He’s the runaway leader in Plays Saved on balls hit to the shallowest parts of right field and medium-depth right field in that span. And he’s topped on balls hit to the deepest part of right field by only Jason Heyward and Giancarlo Stanton.

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Originally published: February 13, 2020. Last Updated: February 13, 2020.