After starting his career in Boston back in 2014, Mookie Betts put up strong numbers from year one. Turning 28 late this year, Betts is in his prime, and now finds himself in Los Angeles. This is not a bad move as he moves to a team that has been on the cusp of a World Series the last few seasons. Could he be the extra piece? It sure seems that way. The fantasy value isn’t going to move much for Betts in this offense, but you might have some questions about the home runs in a lesser stadium and overall division. There isn’t much of a concern for that here, as Betts projects to be a top five outfielder.
Last Three Years Stats
Mookie Betts has posted elite numbers over the last three seasons. He ranks 12th in on-base percentage among qualified hitters, and is 9th in stolen bases in that span (72). Only Charlie Blackmon has more runs in that span, which is by two, and also has played 15 more games. Betts is also a top 30 guy in RBI, and ranks 27th in home runs. His offensive value ranks 4th in that span, and has been just on an elite level. Sad to think Boston decided to part ways with that type of production.
2020 Fantasy Projections
Betts is going to see a ton of at-bats, and projects for the second most. The 27 home run projection puts him around names like Michael Conforto and Eddie Rosario. The stolen bases project a few more than last season. His overall fantasy value is projected to be high regardless of the format. Whether that is H2H scoring or rotisserie. Betts ability to get on base and the names behind him make it easy to project another big year in the runs department. Expect another top tier season from one of baseball’s best.
Mookie Betts fantasy value did not move after being traded, but J.D. Martinez, Bogaerts, and Deavers all take a hit losing a player like Mookie who even in a down year last year had a .295 avg, 29 HRs, led the team in SB, and had an OBP of .391.#RedSox #Dodgers #FantasyBaseball
— Grant Sports (@CoachesTalk) February 5, 2020
Outside of the stolen base and RBI numbers, Betts is looking at 2017 numbers as his floor. 20 home runs is a good floor, and I would be surprised to see him fall short of a 100 runs. Hitting over .290 has been done in all but one season. Getting on-base has been an easy task for Betts, where he has a career .374 OBP. Everything about Betts makes for a very safe draft pick, even with the change of scenery. Draft Betts with confidence as you will be getting a top eight outfielder in fantasy.
Much like most of the first round picks, there is a small gap between their floor and ceiling. He has had 80 RBI in each of the last two seasons, where he had 100+ in the two years prior. Leading off will knock down his RBI chances a tad, but nothing crazy. I talk about this below, as the Dodgers lineup is deep, and I would love Dave Roberts to hit the pitcher spot eight. Home runs won’t have much more of a ceiling, where maybe you can make the case for a few more, but I see his home run numbers going down a few. Stolen bases could go back up to the 20-25 range, but he isn’t going to hit that 30 mark.
Outside of the Trout, Bellinger, Yelich, Acuna range, you have a choice taking Gerrit Cole or Mookie Betts. That seems to be the general consensus in terms of what ADP shows us. Betts could easily lead the league in runs again, as he has done the past two years. He also has a chance to bounce back in stolen bases a bit. Overall you are getting a premier fantasy player in the middle of the first round. Betts is going just slightly above $40 in auctions, so if you want a slight discount from those names above, then you can go that route with Betts without cutting off too much.
Los Angeles Dodgers Offense
Moving from Los Angeles to Boston is a pretty lateral move when it comes to the names around Betts now. Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner all hitting behind him. You also have a deeper lineup with Los Angeles, and Betts should have stronger opportunity for RBI in comparison to most leadoff spots, even in the National League. I will say there is a downgrade moving from the AL East set of stadiums. San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles are all below average park factors. Arizona is more neutral now, where of course Coors is a big bump. This is quite the change from the Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays being league average to above average park factors. This isn’t anything to draft Betts lower because, but just something to notice if the power numbers take a small dip.
Mookie Betts is a real talent, and Statcast numbers back it up. He ranked in the 84th percentile in exit velocity back in 2019, and 88th percentile in hard-contact. Betts is also a tremendous outfielder, and his speed is another reason why he is a big fantasy player. It ties into his stolen base upside. The expected stats were actually higher than his 2019 numbers. He had a .311 xBA and hit .295. Not a huge difference, but it is there. The xSLG is .573 and the real slugging percentage was .524.
Betts has risen his hard-contact over the last two seasons, producing a 50% hard-contact in 2018 and 46% in 2019. He didn’t top 40% in the prior three seasons. Betts is a great contact bat, and doesn’t have any real weakness with breaking and offspeed stuff. He has been in the top 50 in average exit velocity over the past two seasons, and ranked 21st in barrels last year. As noted he is a great defender, and has been top 20 in outs above average over the last four seasons.
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