The production of Mookie Betts is a reason the Red Sox find themselves right in the thick of the tight pennant race.
After a pair of nightmarish seasons leading up to the 2016 campaign, it is refreshing to watch this year’s Boston Red Sox play with grit and determination on a nightly basis. While their very respectable record is a direct result of overall team success, it would be hard to imagine where this team would be without the production of Mookie Betts.
With just over a month left of the regular season, the Red Sox find themselves right in the thick of a tight pennant race alongside American League East foes Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. The club’s position in the standings is of course a testament to how well the team has been playing as a collective unit, mostly due in part to their young nucleus of players.
The Red Sox knew what they had in their hands with this young core of players on the rise. Betts, along with fellow All-Star teammates Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., has positioned themselves to be the new core of the ball club and potential superstars some day. For Betts’ case, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who predicted the second-year man’s rise to superstardom would come this early in his career.
As the Red Sox are positioned to be legitimate contenders to win the AL East, Betts’, personally, finds himself in a different race: the race for Most Valuable Player.
After a somewhat rocky start to the season, Betts has taken his game to a level that not many thought the young outfielder was capable of. He has showcased himself as one of the game’s premier five-tool players: hitting for average, hitting for power, tremendous defense, great speed and a strong arm. With the likes of David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia on the back ends of their careers, the case could be made that Betts is the team’s most important player, and at least in the season, their best.
When you take a look at Betts’ season statistics thus far, there is a good chance that your jaw may hit the floor. Mind you, Mookie Betts has led the league in at-bats nearly all season, making his eye-popping numbers even more impressive. His .313 batting average his good for 13th in all of baseball, while his overall hit total (154) is good for second.
More from Boston Red Sox
- 3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox
- MLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return
- Red Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win
- Mookie Betts Has Humble Outlook on Returning to Fenway
- Alex Cora Reveals What He Said to Cause NSFW Response from Justin Verlander
What makes Betts’ power and run production totals so impressive is that he has spent the majority of the season batting out of the leadoff spot. His 276 total bases account for the top spot in all of Major League Baseball. Not to be outdone, his 26 home runs are the 15th highest tally in all of baseball and his remarkable 84 RBI’s and .561 slugging percentage are good for 9th best in the big leagues. He’s even second in the MLB in doubles (34) and 14th in steals (18). Basically, any offensive category you pull up, you will find Mookie Betts at the top of the list.
What often gets lost in the MVP selection process is the conceptual nature of the award. It is the Most Valuable Player, which doesn’t exact hold the same meaning as best player. For Betts, his value on this Boston Red Sox team is unquestioned. It is hard to imagine this team would still be in legitimate post season contention without the superstar production of Mookie Betts.
While Betts will certainly be amongst tough company for the award with the likes of Jose Altuve and Manny Machado, the outcome of the regular season will certainly hold dividends.
A post season birth for your respective ball club certainly holds weight with the MVP award, as it proves your person production, coupled with your teams, took your club to great heights. In that case, Betts’ continued remarkable production could not only result in a trip to October baseball for the Red Sox, but also some impressive hardware for himself.