Betts’s 2017 Season
At age 23 following a monster 2016 season, it seemed as if Mookie Betts was ready to take over baseball. Last year, Mookie had a down year compared to his 2016 season. His average dropped by fifty four points. He was still able to drive in over a hundred runs, which for most players would be considered a very good year. For the Red Sox right fielder it was a disappointing year by his standards, but through this season’s first ten games he has been on fire.
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2018 Season for Betts so Far
Over the offseason, new Red Sox manager Alex Cora changed Bett’s hitting approach. Mookie is not your conventional leadoff hitter due to his power ability. Over the offseason, Cora told his right fielder to be more aggressive at the plate. So far it’s worked out well. In Spring Training, Mookie struggled, but he has erased all concern through the season’s first ten games. Last night in the Red Sox’ 14-1 victory over the Yankees, Mookie went 4-4, including a grand slam. He has been a spark plug for this Red Sox team from the top of the lineup, and last night he reminded people how he can impact a game in many different ways.
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson USA TODAY Sports
Expectations for Betts Going Forward
Mookie’s hot start has shown that this season could be a big year for him. If the Red Sox are going to contend for a championship, he will be key. He has a rare combination of power and speed. So far this year Cora has been able to maximize that and bring the best out in Mookie. In 37 at bats this year, Mookie has 16 hits including seven extra base hits. One of the reasons the Red Sox offense struggled last year was because Betts had a down year. When Mookie is at his best he is one of the best in baseball. He is projected to only drive in ninety runs this year. If he continues hitting like this he could very well pass that projection.
Photo Credit: Kevin Skiver
Why He Could Win MVP
Betts will not hit .423 all season. He is capable of hitting over .300 as he did two years ago. So far he is off to an impressive start. In 2018 he has looked more like his 2016 self. A season in which he was in the conversation, along with Trout, as the best player in baseball, and started in the All-Star game. It is still early, but 2018 could be his best season yet.