Boston Red Sox: September revival for a rock-solid Mookie Betts

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 19: Mookie Betts /

Outfielder Mookie Betts may not have the MVP numbers he put up in 2016, but for the Boston Red Sox in 2017, Betts has delivered the most.

Entering 2017, the Boston Red Sox knew Mookie Betts would be an integral part to the team getting back to the postseason.

Betts might not be on the American League MVP radar in 2017 like he was in 2016. Like much of this season’s offense in Boston, Betts, too, has struggled through dry spells.

At the end of the day, Betts is still Boston’s top outfielder and very much the team MVP. Look no further than the September Betts is having.

The batting average in September (.276) is still not quite up to par, but Betts has found his power. He has hit five home runs and driven in 18 runs in the first three weeks of September. Toss in 13 runs scored, 5 doubles, 2 triples and 3 stolen bases and Betts is only improving on the effort he’s shown all season.

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Andrew Benintendi
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Andrew Benintendi /

Betts carried the team when runs were hard to come by. He’s the defensive leader of the outfield, joining with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi to form one of the best outfields in the American League.

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Benintendi is feeding off of Betts and delivering big hits of his own. The rookie outfielder has put up nearly identical numbers to those of Betts in September. Even at 24 years old, Betts is proving to be a leader and someone for teammates to look up.

Prior to Friday’s game, Betts leads the team in home runs (23) and RBI’s (96). He has 44 doubles and 24 stolen bases.  Much of his production came while hitting from the leadoff spot.

One hopes those numbers translate to a solid October.

Hoping for postseason redemption

The playoffs are right around the corner and Betts–like many of his current teammates–will be looking for a bit of redemption in 2017.

The feel-good final run for David Ortiz ended with a sweep by the Cleveland Indians. The Boston Red Sox only scored seven runs in three games as their strength in 2016 failed them at the worst possible time.

Betts was part of the problem, hitting .200 (2-10) in three games with no home runs, no runs batted in, and no doubt a sour taste left in his mouth.

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A now unquestioned leader of this team, the 2017 postseason is his for the taking. In between stretches of dominant pitching, an offensive explosion in early August, and a domination in extra-inning games, Betts has been the one constant.

Carrying his September rise into October will only further the belief in his leadership. And hopefully add another title to the Boston lore.