Mookie Betts appreciation thread

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I just love this guy like no other Red Sox since Nomar, Pedro and Big Papi. He's already in that upper pantheon.... joining so many others. Maybe Pedroia? I dunno....

This guy just has IT. Clown demon and all.
Should the Sox break the bank immediately and get him long term as the face of the franchise for a 10 year deal ASAP or should they play the free agency game... I stress about shit like this after far too may drinks on a Wednesday night.

Whatever. Sploogie Festie!!!!
 

Hank Scorpio

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He’s a Gold Glover in a premium position with 30+ home run power, 30ish steal speed, great on-base capability, smokes the ball and makes it look easy. Tremendous athlete, seemingly an all-around great guy, marketable, and can handle playing in Boston.

Confident in saying he’s one of the top five players in the game. Maybe the best. Easily the best position player we had in years, perennial MVP candidate.

If you can talk him out of free agency, you do it immediately.

Not convinced? Imagine him sliding between Judge and Stanton as the Yankees next CF. Ellsbury or Damon he is not.
 

sean1562

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how long do you think sanchez will realistically be their catcher? guy is a 1b/DH waiting to happen. If Corbin is real, they are gonna throw money at pitching they dont need harper or machado. Their pitching is not great
 

Remagellan

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They’re not signing Bryce Harper. Their acquisition of Stanton made that extremely unlikely. Do you think they’re really going to commit over 700 million dollars in future salaries to two outfielders?

They’ll throw that money at starting pitching. If Kershaw could be swayed—and he can’t—they would throw money at him. If they can convert some of their farm system into Madison Bumgarner, they’ll pay him.

They can mash. It’s pitching that they need.
 

Remagellan

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To put this thread back on track, watching Mookie Betts play in this uniform makes my heart sing. A guy his size doing the things he can do in this sport is what makes baseball the greatest game of them all, and the most American. You don’t have to be a hulking giant like the star of our rivals to excel. Greatness comes in all shapes and sizes in baseball.
 

Cesar Crespo

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They’re not signing Bryce Harper. Their acquisition of Stanton made that extremely unlikely. Do you think they’re really going to commit over 700 million dollars in future salaries to two outfielders?

They’ll throw that money at starting pitching. If Kershaw could be swayed—and he can’t—they would throw money at him. If they can convert some of their farm system into Madison Bumgarner, they’ll pay him.

They can mash. It’s pitching that they need.

They aren't signing Mookie Betts either.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Guerin asked him about the homer to right field last night and he said, "I didn't even know I could do that. So that's good to know for later."

I remember him saying something similar after he threw out a guy at third last year.

He's still getting better! And he's already the best!
 

drbretto

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Does JD's contract mean anything here? Was that just unfortunate timing for him or did the FA bubble pop a little bit? I had been assuming Betts would command 300m, but now I'm not so sure.

Whatever he costs, given the current state of the farm system, Sox gotta pay it. We need him.
 

teddywingman

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[QUOTE="MyDaughterLovesTomGordon, post: 2775552, member: ] "I didn't even know I could do that. So that's good to know for later."
[/QUOTE]
This quote put a big smile-- almost as big as Mookie's-- on my face.
 

mwonow

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I love watching Mookie - thanks for starting the thread!

Maybe we could have a separate thread for "Contracts cost a lot and the Yankees are meanies" posts.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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His hand/eye coordination is truly amazing. The stats on his lack is swings and misses on fastballs is truly impressive.

Quite often the ball seems to just explode off his bat. So much fun to watch at the plate and he is just as much fun to watch in the field.
 

EdRalphRomero

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I love Mookie with a love that is deep and wide. How is it possible that one of the best defensive outfielders I've seen on the Red Sox, came up as a second baseman? Has there been a good explanation of that anywhere? I'd love to read it. I just like reading things about Mookie. And saying the name Mookie.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Guerin asked him about the homer to right field last night and he said, "I didn't even know I could do that. So that's good to know for later."
Man, if he can start putting that kind of opposite-field hurt on outside fastballs on a regular basis, the man is going to be impossible to pitch to.

I mean, even more than he already is.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I love Mookie with a love that is deep and wide. How is it possible that one of the best defensive outfielders I've seen on the Red Sox, came up as a second baseman? Has there been a good explanation of that anywhere? I'd love to read it. I just like reading things about Mookie. And saying the name Mookie.
Yaz was originally signed as a 2B.
 

brandonchristensen

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I do like him join the likes of Pedro and Manny and Nomar as “referred to only by their first names”.

Special player.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I love Mookie with a love that is deep and wide. How is it possible that one of the best defensive outfielders I've seen on the Red Sox, came up as a second baseman? Has there been a good explanation of that anywhere? I'd love to read it. I just like reading things about Mookie. And saying the name Mookie.
He played the OF up until college.

edit: Until the minors, rather.
 
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DeweyWins

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I dub his style of play... Mookie Ball.

It celebrates his play and eradicates past demons at the same time.

Truly, if he didn't know he could go oppo as well as he did last night, this could be a very special year!
 

EdRalphRomero

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He played the OF up until college.

edit: Until the minors, rather.
Here is his SoxProspects page. It says he played SS and 2b in high school (wikipedia also lists OF as a high school position).

From SoxPrspects: "Solid-average arm" and "doesn't always take the best route."

But to give them their credit "Franchise cornerstone type of player."
 

Sam Ray Not

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How is it possible that one of the best defensive outfielders I've seen on the Red Sox, came up as a second baseman?.
Same reason he can bowl perfect games, or that Steph Curry is a scratch golfer. Some people are just freaks of hand-eye coordination.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Mookie is only 25 and is arguably *just now* coming into his prime. What's crazy is that it feels like he's reached a new baseline. Though it's possible this is just one hot month, it's already his best month ever by wrc+. All the months in his career with a wrc+ equal to or greater than 140:

MonthWRC+PAAvgOBPSLGOPSISOrhrsbbbsotbhard %hr/fb %pa/hr
Apr-18214950.3500.4420.7501.1920.400258212116050.0%22.2%11.9
Aug-161871280.3780.4140.6721.0860.29421947118036.7%18.4%14.2
Jul-161801060.3680.4150.6531.0680.28415559116239.5%13.5%21.2
Sep-151721380.3580.4200.5770.9970.220265413207136.5%13.9%27.6
Jun-151521060.3300.3750.5670.9420.23718347105531.8%7.1%35.3
May-161431320.2980.3480.5790.9270.28130829137033.0%20.5%16.5
Sep-171411080.2810.3610.5830.9440.302186512155643.2%16.2%18.0

By almost every measure, this is the best we've ever seen Mookie Betts play. What's notable is the *power* he's generating. His SLG, ISO, hard contact %, hr/fb%, and pa/hr are all huge, huge highs for him. And he's doing this without sacrificing his fundamentals for strike zone command. Inevitably, he'll drop off, but the question is what his floor will be when he goes through the inevitable valleys between his peaks. If his monthly peak is a ~210 wrc+, is his floor something like 120 wrc+? If so, my God.

[EDIT] If anyone has any tips on how to post tables in posts, PM me
[DOUBLE EDIT] I figured it out
 
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EdRalphRomero

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Same reason he can bowl perfect games, or that Steph Curry is a scratch golfer. Some people are just freaks of hand-eye coordination.
I get that. And if he had been moved from SS to CF/RF that might be the end of it. But he was moved to a lower value defensive position (2b) despite that freakish ability -- and got back to a higher value position only when 2b was blocked. I guess the move to 2B mostly happened in high school.

If Pedroia wasn't around, would Mookie still be playing 2B? And, if so, how much value would have been lost? Or would the Sox at some point have recognized that he kinda just wound up at 2B in high school, but that doesn't represent the best use of his talents?
 

Al Zarilla

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Mookie is one of my top 7 favorite Red Sox, going all the way back to Williams.

Williams
Yaz
Nomar
Pedro
Ortiz
Ellsbury
Mookie

Why Ellsbury in such company? I really like dynamic players who can run on the bases and in the field, even if they don’t always have lots of power. Of course, no such caveat with Mookie. He truly does it all.

Man, there are a lot of other great favorites like Rice, Lynn, Evans, Fisk, Clemens, Doerr, Varitek, Lester, Manny, Koji, Schilling, Beckett, Lonborg, on and on. Mookie is in great company already.
 

Reverend

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I get that. And if he had been moved from SS to CF/RF that might be the end of it. But he was moved to a lower value defensive position (2b) despite that freakish ability -- and got back to a higher value position only when 2b was blocked. I guess the move to 2B mostly happened in high school.

If Pedroia wasn't around, would Mookie still be playing 2B? And, if so, how much value would have been lost? Or would the Sox at some point have recognized that he kinda just wound up at 2B in high school, but that doesn't represent the best use of his talents?
If they invent a new position he'll just play that too.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I get that. And if he had been moved from SS to CF/RF that might be the end of it. But he was moved to a lower value defensive position (2b) despite that freakish ability -- and got back to a higher value position only when 2b was blocked. If Pedroia wasn't around, would Mookie still be playing 2B? And, if so, how much value would have been lost? And why?
No idea. Given that he'd be elite at any defensive position (except catcher), you might think his optimal position would have been SS, if not for the presence of Xander. But then, isn't height/length somewhat important for a SS? That's the one physical gift he lacks. I'd assume there's a reason beyond convention why so many second basemen are short (Pedey, Altuve, e.g.) whereas the majority of shortstops are tall.
 

grimshaw

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I think he is the purest 5 tool guy in their history. Obviously they have had guys with better individual tools in their history, but he has to be the most well rounded.

As a position player he is as much fun for me to watch since Nomar's hall of fame stretch.
 
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Dewey'sCannon

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I think he was put a 2B originally mostly because of his size - it really is the natural position for the short, skinny guys. And speaking somewhat from experience, being short and skinny in HS kinda forces you to refine your mechanics to get the most out of your body. But then when your body grows and matures, you've still got those great mechanics, but now you've got some physical strength, and viola - power bat and cannon arm. Coupled with his natural speed and tremendous hand-eye coordination, that turns him into the 5-tool player.

He is really one of the most fun and exciting players to watch, ever.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I get that he loses some of his defensive WAR if he were at 2B, but isnt there something to be said about having a top 5 offensive player at a position like 2B, where traditionally weaker offensive players reside?
 

MakeMineMoxie

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If the Red Sox are truly a top-tier franchise, they simply have to do whatever it takes to keep Mookie in Boston, and screw the Luxury Tax. I know, not my money but when they show the grandstand on TV, it only has flags for AL Pennants & WS wins, nothing that says "2015 - We stayed under the Luxury Tax!"
 

joyofsox

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J.D. Martinez loves Mookie Betts:
[H]e's so hungry for information. He's always in my ear. "Why did I miss that ball? What do you think about of this? What do you think about that? How should I try and hit that? Have you seen my BP?" Always asking me stuff. Always trying to learn. ... I love it because he gets caught up in the process instead of the results. ... Obviously you want hits, but the process is something you can control. ... We talk hitting and I get his perspective on it. It's cool. I kind of like the way he thinks about some stuff sometimes. It's different. I like different because it kind of opens your mind. ... I like information, so bouncing ideas off of him has been good.
 

SumnerH

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I think he is the purest 5 tool guy in their history. Obviously they have had guys with better individual tools in their history, but he has to be the most well rounded.
Tris Speaker was both a batting and home run league champion (166 OPS+ with Boston, 40+ points above Mookie), never stole less than 25 bases in a full season with Boston (and had 3 40+ years, including a 52 SB year), and holds the all-time record for assists and DPs by an outfielder to go along with a stellar reputation as a defender both range- and arm-wise; his glove was famously nicknamed the place “where triples go to die”.

His power numbers look paltry, but you have to contextualize them into the dead-ball era.