Markus Lynn “Mookie” Betts (born October 7, 1992 in Brentwood, Tennessee, United States) is an outfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball.
Mookie Betts was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th selection round in 20111. While still a high school student, Betts had already signed up with the University of Tennessee Volunteers, after rejecting offers from Vanderbilt, of Mississippi State and the University of Alabama at Birmingham 2. He comes close to not signing with the Red Sox, but finally accepts their offer before the deadline.
In early 2014, Betts first appeared on Baseball America’s annual Top 100 Future Players list, which ranked it 75th4. In the summer of 2013, the Red Sox awarded a long-term contract to all-star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, tying their star to the team until 20215. Questions then arise as to the future of Mookie Betts, also second baseman 6. Xander Bogaerts, a promising young player, already alternating since the end of the previous year between the positions of player of third baseman and shortstop, the Red Sox are considering converting Betts to outfielder, possibly to the position of center fielder7. As of 2014, Betts effectively begins patrolling the outfield in the minor leagues.
Mookie Betts made his major baseball debut with the Boston Red Sox on June 29, 2014. In this first game, he had a hit, a walk-over and a run. This first hit was successful at the expense of pitcher Chase Whitley of the New York Yankees9.
He maintains a .291 batting average in 52 games and hits 5 home runs for Boston in 2014.
Mookie Betts makes a spectacular catch to deprive Bryce Harper (off-screen) of a home run on April 13, 2015.
Despite only 52 games played in 2014, which is less than a third of a season, Betts are considered a rookie that year. He is therefore not eligible for the 2015 Rookie of the Year award, for which he would have been a prime candidate. Indeed, in 145 games played for Boston in its second season – but the first entirely spent with the Red Sox – Betts hit 174 hits including 18 home runs, compiled 21 steals and 77 RBIs, and posted a batting average of .291. . He received a handful of American League MVP votes, finishing 19th overall.
He played at center fielder for the Red Sox in 2015.
In 2016, Betts leads Major League Baseball in total goals (359). In the majors, he’s also 2nd for hits (214), 2nd for runs scored (122), 5th for runs batted in (113) and 7th for batting average (.318). In 158 games played, he hits 31 home runs and steals 26 goals in just 30 tries. He is also the major player who has the most official batting this season (672).
He was invited to his first midseason all-star game and named the American League’s best player of the month for July.
Betts receives for the first time a Golden Glove and a Silver Stick at the end of the season, underlining his defensive and attacking qualities respectively. After a 2015 season at center field, he played all year 2016 in right field12 and, in addition to the Golden Glove, won the Fielding Bible award as best defensive player of the majors in right field.
Mookie Betts finished 2nd in the 2016 American League MVP vote, behind winner Mike Trout
On July 22, 2020, Mookie Betts signed for 12 years and $ 365 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This contract is the second biggest in baseball history behind that of Mike Trout.
Markus Betts owes his nickname Mookie to basketball player Mookie Blaylock, whom his parents admired and watched play in the NBA soon after their son was born.
In addition to baseball, Mookie Betts excelled at basketball in high school. He is also an excellent bowler, a sport he played with his parents since childhood, and was even named the top junior bowler in Tennessee in 201014,15 after a game where his score rose to 290.