As Black baseball stars continue to make waves around the baseball world, one in particular has represented the bunch as well as anyone on and off of the field.
Following an incredible season, it’s now former AL MVP Mookie Betts’ turn to grace the 2023 MLBbro.com Player of the Year award.
Third Time’s A Charm
Betts has become the third winner of the MLBbro Player of the Year honor, with now-World Series champion Marcus Semien taking the award in 2021 before Bronx Bomber Aaron Judge earned the honor in 2022.
Betts followed suit, being acknowledged as one of the best in the game. Being selected as a First Team All-MLB player recently also solidifies his elite status.
How Did Mookie Betts Fare In 2023?
While Betts was just shy of another MVP nod, he had an historical season where he tallied a career-high 39 home runs and earned his sixth Silver Slugger Award. As a lethal leadoff hitter, Betts earned a solo spot in MLB record books for RBI from the top of the order after a two-RBI double on Sept. 23 against the Giants — bringing him to 105.
After making a move to the infield, notching 70 appearances at second base and 16 at shortstop, the 2022 Golden Glover only made five errors and continue his presence as a dominant player on defense and elevated him to most versatile player in the game, along with Shohei Ohtani.
This led to Betts being moved to second base as an everyday player for the upcoming season — the position he was drafted to play back in 2011.
Everyone Loves Mookie
Betts’ on-field contributions are far from the full-picture considering what he has to offer. Betts started his career with the Red Sox, where he won the aforementioned MVP award as well as the World Series before being traded and re-upping in Los Angeles on a big-money deal.
When he got to the Dodgers, Betts immediately captured his second World Series championship and it made the Dodgers a new destination spot for big-time stars like Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez and now the $700 million man in Shohei Ohtani.
This wave was something to be expected from a team led by a guy like Betts.
MLB legend Albert Pujols only spent one season with the star, but still told Mlbbro.com that he would build a team around Betts if he owned a team.
“That’s one of the first guys I’d pick,” Pujols said. “ (He’s) quiet, respect the game, plays the game hard, great teammate.”
Helping Out The Bros
As MLBbro Player of the Year, Betts solidified his case with his contributions towards increasing diversity in baseball. In an interview with MLBbro.com’s Nick Hamilton, Betts made it a goal of his to bring culture into baseball and attract his community to the game.
“The goal that I set out to accomplish, which is to get Blacks in baseball,” Betts said. “Not necessarily on the field but just around the field. Maybe it’s front office.”
Betts continued to explain that he wanted to get people out of the streets and help them become more success in life. With Betts’ on and off-field successes, he earns the MLBbro Player of the Year honor and continues to lead the way as one of the illuminating stars of MLB.