There aren’t many limitations to the gifted athleticism of Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts, so when the chance to further push that boundary presented itself in the offseason, the seven-time All-Star invested.

We’ve already watched Betts rob home runs and gun runners out from the outfield like it’s another day at the office. The 31-year-old already has six Gold Glove Awards as a well-established right fielder, one of the best across MLB. However, it wasn’t until Betts was traded from the Boston Red Sox that the defensive versatility began to be tested.

“For my mind, what I believe in myself, I could’ve done it any time,” Betts said, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. “Just needed the opportunity.”

Betts added: “I just want to win.”

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts played Betts, who was originally an infield prospect in Boston’s farm system years ago, in 70 games at second base and 16 at shortstop. When Betts arrived in Los Angeles, the longtime right fielder had logged only 14 big league infield appearances with the Red Sox — all at second base. Yet, with an occupied outfield, Betts and the Dodgers saw eye-to-eye in making a challenging shift to shortstop full-time in 2024.

Being ambitious is nothing new to Betts. He’s a devoted bowler who’s even competed in the World Series of Bowling, already has two MLB World Series rings, and could become baseball’s second player to ever win an MVP in both the American and National Leagues — Frank Robinson (1961, 1966) was the last and only to do so. Although, the odds might lean in favor of Dodgers teammate Shohei Ohtani.

Nevertheless, Betts has been devoted to putting in the hours that the Los Angeles coaching staff has taken notice of.

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“He’s a beast, obsessive of wanting to be the best,” Dodgers infield coach Dino Ebel said, per Ardaya.

When the Red Sox first called Betts up from Triple-A in 2015, the question became whether or not he’d be able to handle the duties of being an everyday outfielder. Quickly, that turned into a foolish concern as Betts blossomed in navigating Fenway Park’s tricky right field dimensions. The same prospect that was doubted defensively soon after emerged into an MVP candidate completing with Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout in a tight race the following season in 2016 — then finishing as the runaway winner in 2018.

If Betts proves to be as reliable at shortstop, it’ll only add to an already convincing Baseball Hall of Fame resume for the 11-year veteran.

Featured image via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images