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Who Is The Best Player In Los Angeles NOT Named Shohei Ohtani?


Who Is The Best Player In Los Angeles NOT Named Shohei Ohtani?

It will be at least six more weeks before the Los Angeles Dodgers have Mookie Betts back at the top of the order. Betts was hit by a 98 MPH pitch that broke his left hand on June 16 against the Kansas City Royals.


Betts has struggled at short this season. So when he returns, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and the front office will have a decision to make—where will Betts play?


But that decision has gotten a bit more complex over the past two weeks because of the play of 35-year-old shortstop Miguel Rojas.


Miguel Rojas is Elite At Shortstop


Who Is The Best Player In Los Angeles NOT Named Shohei Ohtani?

Since Betts went down, Rojas has been the Dodgers' best player not named Shohei Ohtani. He has played 215 innings at short this season and has not committed an error. Betts has just a .963 fielding percentage, which ranks him #116 in baseball.


Rojas has always been an elite fielder, “For me,” Dodgers third-base coach Dino Ebel said, “he’s one of the top five defensive shortstops in baseball.”


Betts has been working hard to become a better shortstop. He’s spent nearly every day with Rojas learning the details of the position.

“It’s a game-changer,” Roberts said of Rojas’ defense. “Mookie was doing the best he could given the circumstances, but Miggy is an 80-grade defender. He grew up as a shortstop. The repetitions that he’s taken over the years, over his life … he’s a lock-down guy.”

But It’s his offense that has opened eyes this season.


Dodgers Best Shortstop Is Hot At The Plate


Who Is The Best Player In Los Angeles NOT Named Shohei Ohtani?

This season, Rojas is hitting .297, which, with enough at-bats, would put him 14th in all of baseball.


He’s never been a power hitter. In his first four years in the majors, he hit four home runs; this year, he already has three.


Rojas played his first MLB season with the Dodgers in 2014. He has made some changes this season. He’s got a new pre-game workout, he’s eating better, and he goes to bed earlier.


There was a lot of talk about the Dodgers going after Toronto Blue Jay Bo Bichette or Paul DeJong of the Chicago White Sox after Betts got hurt. “I’m taking this really seriously because I don’t want them to feel like they need to go out there and find someone,” Rojas said. “I think I can do it.”


The Dodgers Decision


Who Is The Best Player In Los Angeles NOT Named Shohei Ohtani?

There are other factors in the decision. Everyday second baseman Gavin Lux is having a rough year after returning from a severe knee injury.


In 66 games, Lux has hit just .221, with two home runs and just 21 RBI. When asked if he would consider leaving Rojas at short and moving Betts back to second base, Roberts said,


“I would; I would. I don’t think anyone can debate the level of shortstop play from Miguel Rojas. Some of it is contingent on the timeline for Mookie’s return and, where Miggy is physically and how things are going. But to your question, would I consider it? Absolutely.”


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