Boston Red Sox 2018 player grades: Mookie Betts

Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

It was quite a year for Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.  He did it in every way possible to help his team win a World Series Championship.

The Boston Red Sox needed a sexy star going into the 2018 MLB season and they got one in a player who was already on the team.

Along with the addition and emergence of J.D. Martinez, the Red Sox watched their young outfielder Mookie Betts team up with the veteran slugger to form one of the most productive duos in all of baseball.  We saw it before from Betts, but the way he led the team in 2018 showed that the once promising prospect has arrived as one of the faces of baseball.

In 136 games played during the regular season, Mookie Betts made the leadoff spot the most dangerous spot in the lineup.  He posted a .346 batting average with 32 home runs and 80 RBI.  His 129 runs scored was tops in baseball and showcased the impact Betts had on the game offensively.  With 30 stolen bases, the Red Sox outfielder joined the 30-30 club, but that wasn’t the only accolade he claimed.

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With is solid offense and elite defensive presence, Betts took home American League MVP, the silver slugger award, won the AL batting title, and also won the AL Gold Grove.

To say it was the year of Mookie Betts is an understatement.  The man with the giant smile simply established himself as a force to be reckoned with no matter where he bats in the lineup and no matter where he plays defensively.

In fact, there were talks of him playing second base during the World Series just to get his bat in the lineup along with that of J.D. Martinez.  It didn’t get that far, but the fact that Alex Cora had the option further showcased the versatility of Mookie Betts.

Speaking of the MLB playoffs and World Series, the only knock on Betts in 2018 was his lack of production during the team’s World Series run.  While other players picked him up offensively, Mookie Betts still made an impact defensively and that’s what makes him perhaps the best player in baseball.

What to expect in 2019

Well, Alex Cora has already made it known that Mookie Betts will not be leading off in 2019…at least for the start of the season.

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The lineup change will put Betts in position to drive in more runs and add to his power a bit.  Will it affect him offensively?

It could as pitchers can start to pitch around him more.  That is something they couldn’t do with him in the leadoff spot.  With all his accomplishments in 2018, there is not much more Betts has left to accomplish in his young career except land a big contract.

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The Boston Red Sox absolutely have to lock up Mookie Betts long-term and that will be a focus in 2019.  For that reason, Betts will continue playing at a high level and will once again have the Red Sox knocking on the door for another World Series championship.

In all, it was a great 2018 for Betts, one that definitely earned him a solid A.  It should carry over to 2019 and beyond.