It’s tough to believe to believe Mookie Betts only has been playing in the outfield for a few years.
Before becoming a superstar right fielder for the Boston Red Sox, Betts had spent the bulk of his baseball life as an infielder, primarily at second base.
Betts’ transition to the outfield has been nothing short of seamless, as the 25-year-old already has two Gold Glove awards to his name. While Betts might have made the position change look effortless, that’s far from the case.
“It was tough at first—I didn’t realize outfield was that tough,” Betts said in an interview with GQ. “I think people think it’s easy and I did too. But I’m one of those people that works and works and works and I worked a lot to be good at my craft. I know whether I moved to the outfield or if I went back to the infield, my goal is to be the best.”
What makes Betts’ transition even more impressive is that right field at Fenway Park is no walk in the park to navigate. But now that he nearly has five years of experience under his belt, Betts is more than comfortable with his stomping grounds.
“Initially I think it was more just that moving to the outfield was tough,” Betts said. “And now Fenway is actually the easiest park for me just because I don’t have to worry about walls, I can just get out and run. It’s the other parks that are a little more challenging.”
The Red Sox have a long history of elite outfielders, and Betts is well on his way to being one of the best in franchise history.