Mookie Betts appreciation thread

Max Power

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Trout's "True Average" would be lower if he were on a better team. His OBP goes up 50 points when runners are on base. Pitchers don't want to give him anything to hit when he can hurt them, and they're right to do so. Mookie's scored 40% of the time he's reached base and Trout only scores 26%. If Trout had Benintendi, Martinez, and Bogaerts hitting behind him, his overall OBP would come down some.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Trout's "True Average" would be lower if he were on a better team. His OBP goes up 50 points when runners are on base. Pitchers don't want to give him anything to hit when he can hurt them, and they're right to do so. Mookie's scored 40% of the time he's reached base and Trout only scores 26%. If Trout had Benintendi, Martinez, and Bogaerts hitting behind him, his overall OBP would come down some.
That's a good point! I think B-R might exclude IBB from WAR calculations...
 

SirPsychoSquints

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That's a good point! I think B-R might exclude IBB from WAR calculations...
I'm having trouble finding it exactly, but here's something pointing to it:

https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/2012/10/why-can-war-change-from-one-year-to-next/
So when we go to a great deal of study to estimate the effect of not having batter strikeout data on the value of outs in early 1900's baseball or the value of an infield single or an IBB in 2005, that affects our view of how valuable that player was in that season. At the time in 2005, we didn't consider IBB's as different from non-IBB's and we didn't differentiate between infield and outfield singles. Now we know the value of those differences and we apply it to our understanding of 2005, 1955 and 1905 baseball.

Edit: Here it is:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_wraa.shtml
Our view (and those of the creators of these stats) is that SHs and IBBs are managerial decisions, and in general the best way to handle these is to exclude them from the rate stat (wOBA); then when computing the counting stat (wRAA), we assume the hitter would have done as well as they normally did in the situation if asked to hit.
I have no idea if FG & BP do the same or different.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Speaking of WAR, just checked again at BBref. Here's the list of position players with 30 or more rWAR for ages 21-25:

46.5 - Ty Cobb
44.8 - Mickey Mantle
43.1 - Mike Trout
42.4 - Rogers Hornsby
39.3 - Jimmie Foxx
38.8 - Tris Speaker
37.6 - Albert Pujols
37.6 - Alex Rodriguez
37.4 - Hank Aaron
36.9 - Eddie Collins
36.7 - Eddie Mathews
35.6 - Arkie Vaughan
35.1 - Rickey Henderson
35.1 - Cal Ripken Jr.
34.5 - Mookie Betts
34.2 - Andruw Jones
33.6 - Joe DiMaggio
33.3 - Barry Bonds
32.7 - Mel Ott
32.1 - Stan Musial
31.9 - Ken Griffey Jr.
31.4 - Cesar Cedeno
31.3 - Lou Gehrig
31.0 - Johnny Bench
30.9 - Frank Robinson

Now some of those require an asterisk. For instance, Ted Williams and Willie Mays just missed the list (and Musial should be higher up on it) because of military service. Ruth isn't on it because he was a pitcher for most of that age slice. But nonetheless, this is is the company Mookie has placed himself in, and as long as he can stay healthy, I feel confident this is the kind of career he's going to have. The main question is how much of it he's going to have in Boston.
 

Al Zarilla

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On his home run, it was kind of different. Usually, his swings are not overly long, but not short and compact either because he's not big and he has to have a bit of a lengthy swing to get power. His power also comes from his wrists, which are acclaimed as maybe the fastest in baseball. Anyway, on the home run, off an 86 mph inside corner of the plate slider I believe, he seemed to put on a much longer swing and go out after the ball with his body more. Then, after he hit it he twisted his neck watching the ball like Arnold Palmer used to watch his golf shots, and I was afraid it would go foul. That it didn't was great. To go out after and hit an inside pitch that hard and not have it hook like crazy means he did great in not letting his wrists roll over too much. Couldn't get the video (second one) to embed. MLB.com and ESPN.com videos not working for me at all today.

https://nesn.com/2018/09/watch-mookie-betts-blast-three-run-home-run-in-eighth-inning-vs-yankees/
 

bellowthecat

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Good observation Al. I wonder if his plan was to attack a slider no matter where it went and anticipated it would be down and in. It was obvious Chapman couldn't find the zone with his fastball. Excellent body control to hit that pitch like he did and keep it fair.
 

Al Zarilla

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Good observation Al. I wonder if his plan was to attack a slider no matter where it went and anticipated it would be down and in. It was obvious Chapman couldn't find the zone with his fastball. Excellent body control to hit that pitch like he did and keep it fair.
Thanks. Jim Kaat said Chapman would probably throw him nothing but breaking balls, but I think he meant because Mookie is so well known as a fastball destroyer. Either way, great result.
 

Sin Duda

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Thanks. Jim Kaat said Chapman would probably throw him nothing but breaking balls, but I think he meant because Mookie is so well known as a fastball destroyer. Either way, great result.
I think he saw Chapman attack Sandy Leon with sliders after failing to show any consistency with his fastball. The slider Sandy struck out on looked middle/middle to me and I imagined Mookie on deck saying to himself "Throw that weak-ass shit again Meat".
 

Niastri

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My youngest was coming to say goodnight right as Mookie was coming up to bat.
He's become a huge Mookie fan this year.

So he see's Mookie is up and hops on my lap to watch the AB against Chapman.
Bam, 30th HR of the year. My little guy gets all excited and runs over to my wife and says, "30 homeruns. Can you hang my Mookie up now!"

He just got a Mookie Betts fathead decal for his 4th birthday on Monday. So away we went to hang it up.
It looks great

In lieu of a like button, I'm using this post.

Having a little guy is the best!
 

drbretto

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I think Mookie has this running away now, but one more steal puts him in the 30/30 club, putting a stamp down on one hell of a season.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Mookie's 9.9 fWAR is 13th highest of the past 30 years and 59th all-time. If Mookie has another big game or two and can crack 10.2, he could have the 6th highest season of the past 30 years, and one of only 52 guys to go ever go 10.0.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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His 10.7 bWAR is 4th highest of the past 30 years (Bonds 01, Bonds 02, Ripken 91) and 23rd highest ever. bWARs of 10.7 or more:
  1. Ruth 6
  2. Bonds 2
  3. Mantle 2
  4. Hornsby 2
  5. Cobb 2
  6. Mays 2
  7. Ripken
  8. Yaz
  9. Wagner
  10. Morgan
  11. Gehrig
  12. Mookie
  13. Musial
  14. Ted
All searches above are for position players only.
 

Saints Rest

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I think Mookie has this running away now, but one more steal puts him in the 30/30 club, putting a stamp down on one hell of a season.
It's stupid but true: milestones matter. 30/30 means something to some people, even more than 32/29. It's the same reason why, IMHO, JD would have taken MVP if he had eked out the Triple Crown, even though Betts, Trout, and others surpassed him in all the advanced metrics.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Mookie goes 2 for 2 with a BB, SB, R, and 2B, cementing a 30/30 season and almost certainly cracking 10.0 in fWAR.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Appropriately, here's the latest Fangraphs' article on Betts: Mookie Betts' Historical Season

Betts is sitting at 10.1 fWAR and 10.8 bWAR having played only 134 games. If he played 152 games (his average the last two seasons), he would be looking at a season with ~11.5 fWAR and 12.3 bWAR, easily among the best of all-time.
 

Gash Prex

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Despite the fact that Betts leads baseball in WAR, Keith Law would vote for trout because he believes if Trout played right field, he would have a higher WAR
 

Al Zarilla

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I saw that article by Law, and then remembered that he was the only writer that I saw that picked the Rockies in the 2007 World Series. He’s wrong again.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Wouldn't it be the exact opposite?
Theoretically, it should make little or no difference, because the differences in positional value are supposed to correspond roughly to the difference in difficulty between the positions, so a guy who is a league average CF should be about a +10 RF. Of course data for individual players who make that transition will vary widely. Mookie has a career UZR/150 gap of almost 20 between CF and RF, while for JBJ the difference is almost nonexistent. Trout has a large gap, but it's based on a tiny sample in RF, so that would most likely narrow quickly once he started racking up innings there.
 

Max Power

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Despite the fact that Betts leads baseball in WAR, Keith Law would vote for trout because he believes if Trout played right field, he would have a higher WAR
So he both believes that the MVP should be mindlessly given to the guy with the highest WAR and that he should make subjective adjustments for Trout because he's not the highest? That's some staggeringly stupid use of what are supposed to be the smarter statistics.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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So he both believes that the MVP should be mindlessly given to the guy with the highest WAR and that he should make subjective adjustments for Trout because he's not the highest? That's some staggeringly stupid use of what are supposed to be the smarter statistics.
Can someone summarize the argument a little more fully? Paywall.
 

nighthob

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Cesar Cedeno surprises me. I knew he was good but not that good
In his biography Leo Durocher said that Cedeño was the second most talented player he ever managed and the only player he ever saw that had the talent to be as good as Mays or Mantle. It’s a pity that his career was derailed by injury.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Mookie put quite a bow on a historically great 2018. To take stock, here is Mookie's final line:

AvgOBPSLGOPSWRC+fWARbWAR
0.3460.4380.6401.07818510.110.9

Here is how he ranked in the major offensive categories:
MetricValueMLB-Rank
fWAR10.11
bWAR10.91
HR3220
R1291
RBI8049
SB308
BB%13.20%19
KK%14.80%28
AVG0.3461
SLG0.6401
OBP0.4382
WRC+1852
BSR6.78

And his defensive stats:

MetricValueMLB-RankRF-Rank
OOA1011-
DEF9.6201
UZR14.721
DRS2051

And finally, his month-over-month splits:

MonthWRC+PAAvgOBPSLGOPSISOrhrsbbb%kk%tbhard %hr/fb %pa/hr
Apr-182061070.3440.4390.7331.1720.389298312.10%11.20%6649.4%19.5%13.4
May-182141060.3720.4340.7661.2000.3942391010.40%12.30%7242.7%26.5%11.8
Jun-18139770.2900.4160.4680.8840.177123216.90%14.30%2938.5%12.5%25.7
Jul-181561150.3300.4000.5730.9730.24320559.60%15.70%5948.2%13.9%23.0
Aug-181851240.3530.4600.6181.0780.265254615.30%15.30%6344.1%10.5%31.0
Sep-18200850.3770.4820.6381.1200.261203416.50%21.20%4440.4%13.6%28.3

When looking at his splits, a few notable things:
  1. His mid-season injury took a toll, not just in missed time, but seemingly in diminished performance. June was by far his worst month. But...
  2. June really wasn't that bad! He still put up a 139 WRC+. Contrast that with Jose Ramirez, who had a meh August (114 WRC+) and a terrible September (83 WRC+).
  3. Mookie had a great August and a tremendous September. Though he didn't match the power output of April/May, he turned it on down the stretch, keeping a red-hot Trout at bay to effectively seal the MVP (voters' competence pending).
  4. It's hard not to wonder what Mookie would have done this year if he played ~155 games at full-health. Between the injury and the well-rested September, he was ~100 PA shy of where he was the past 2 years.
Regardless, a hell of a season, one I'll remember for the rest of my life.
 

nvalvo

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That Fangraphs piece makes a strong case that Betts is on an inner circle HoF path.

It's time to extend him.
 

Seels

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That Fangraphs piece makes a strong case that Betts is on an inner circle HoF path.

It's time to extend him.
No that time was a year ago. If he wasn’t priced out of an extension before he certainly is now.

It drives me nuts that teams with lesser resources lock up their stars while the Red Sox don’t do the same. I greatly fear another Jon Lester scenario.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Everything Betts has done since he came up indicates that he has no interest in locking himself long term or taking a discount. Any talk of the Sox needing to extend him or missing their chance to extend him needs to include that. Extensions require two willing parties.
 

bosox79

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No that time was a year ago. If he wasn’t priced out of an extension before he certainly is now.

It drives me nuts that teams with lesser resources lock up their stars while the Red Sox don’t do the same. I greatly fear another Jon Lester scenario.
On its own, I'd say the Jon Lester scenario benefited the Redsox. Of course they went and signed David Price.
 

TeddyBallgame9

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Everything Betts has done since he came up indicates that he has no interest in locking himself long term or taking a discount. Any talk of the Sox needing to extend him or missing their chance to extend him needs to include that. Extensions require two willing parties.
Absolutely. Any “hometown discount” will come in the form of right of first refusal. Mookie’s getting paid. If he comes back the Sox and says “team X offered me this” and the Sox are given the opportunity to match, that’s your hometown discount.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Everything Betts has done since he came up indicates that he has no interest in locking himself long term or taking a discount. Any talk of the Sox needing to extend him or missing their chance to extend him needs to include that. Extensions require two willing parties.
Wait, Sox GMs can't just sign whomever they please, when they please, at whatever terms they please?

Holy shit. Does WEEI know?
 

bosox79

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Does anybody care about Baseball America? Does their award foreshadow anything? Cuz they somehow gave it to Trout.
For prospect coverage maybe. I don't think people care much about their MLB coverage.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I've always liked the comparison of Mookie as a skinny Kirby Puckett. Putting aside Puckett's problems at the end of his career, they have a similar style, with the smile and energy on the field. But I'd argue that Puckett never had a season as good as Mookie's 2018. Amazing that he just turned 26.
 

DrewDawg

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I've always liked the comparison of Mookie as a skinny Kirby Puckett. Putting aside Puckett's problems at the end of his career, they have a similar style, with the smile and energy on the field. But I'd argue that Puckett never had a season as good as Mookie's 2018. Amazing that he just turned 26.
You'd win that argument. Puckett was awesome, but (to make this simple) he topped out at an OPS+ of 153, in 1988. Betts was at 186 this season. That's a significant difference.
 

joyofsox

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Can anyone post the picture of Mookie in a dark red suit and very sharp red hat?
At the time - end of August maybe? - there were also pictures of the sharp-dressed men Holt and Benintendi. Thanks.
 

soxhop411

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Two Mookie stories this week:

Story 1:
“There’s nothing more important in baseball operations than drafting really, really well, developing well, and then hopefully retaining some players who you draft and develop as superstars,” Kennedy said. “To that end, John Henry, Tom Werner, Dave Dombrowksi, yours truly have made it crystal clear to Mookie that specifically we hope he is a member of the Boston Red Sox for his career. We want nothing more than that.

“We also understand he has to survey the landscape, and both sides need to agree that a fair outcome is doable. I hope that is the case. There couldn’t be a better representative of the Boston Red Sox. On the field speaks for itself, but off the field, he’s such a wonderful guy, such a great leader. He represents everything we want. But we also recognize it will be a difficult discussion at some point just given that you want to have a whole team. So, we’ll see when we get there, but we’re going to do everything in our power to keep him.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2018/10/22/sam-kennedy-takes-stock-red-sox-investment-and-beyond/VodHwoUcb5ebIFXsj6p7iN/story.html

and the more important story that shows Mookie is an MVP on and off the field.
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has long provided heroics on the field, and now the likely American League MVP is an all-star off the field as well after being identified in a tweet performing a simple act of kindness for Boston's hungry and homeless.

Hours after Betts and the Red Sox took a 2-0 World Series lead on Wednesday and, with temperatures dipping into the 30s overnight, the generous star reportedly provided hot meals from trays of food to the city's homeless outside the Boston Public Library.

Former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni, who hosts a show on Boston sports radio WEEI, took to Twitter on Thursday night to share a photo and bring light to Betts' Good Samaritan gesture.
"Little birdie told me an amazing story. This was the scene last night around 1am out in front of the Boston Library. Trays and trays of food fed the homeless. The man that delivered the food wasn't looking for attention or praise BUT deserves it. God Bless you Mookie Betts"

It's not the first time Betts has done a similar good deed for a hungry stranger. In 2015, he told NESN that he and catcher Blake Swihart gave pizza to a homeless man in New York City, an act of kindness that Betts credited for his subsequent two-home run game against the Yankees.
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25085521/mookie-betts-lauded-feeding-homeless-world-series-game-2-win
 

tonyarmasjr

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Two Mookie stories this week:

and the more important story that shows Mookie is an MVP on and off the field.


http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25085521/mookie-betts-lauded-feeding-homeless-world-series-game-2-win
I saw this and my thoughts were basically: There are a lot of athletes (and people, in general) who do things like this. They have many different reasons for doing so. Even if their motivation is that they're after the publicity of a good deed (and in no way do I think this is the case here), I'd much rather see people doing things like this than not. And then I got to the fact that he was out there at 1:00 in the morning after winning Game 2 of the World Series. I'm all for feeding the homeless, especially hot meals on a chilly night, and acts of Good Samaritan-ship. I try to participate in doing so, myself. But I can't see myself making that kind of gesture given the context. He's a special human being.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I saw this and my thoughts were basically: There are a lot of athletes (and people, in general) who do things like this. They have many different reasons for doing so. Even if their motivation is that they're after the publicity of a good deed (and in no way do I think this is the case here), I'd much rather see people doing things like this than not. And then I got to the fact that he was out there at 1:00 in the morning after winning Game 2 of the World Series. I'm all for feeding the homeless, especially hot meals on a chilly night, and acts of Good Samaritan-ship. I try to participate in doing so, myself. But I can't see myself making that kind of gesture given the context. He's a special human being.
Exactly. And even the publicity has value. There must be a lot of young people who would look to somebody like Mookie for cues about what success means, who ask the question "what does a superstar do?" and expect that he can provide the answer. In this case, the answer was "he thinks about people who aren't as lucky as he is, when he would have every excuse in the world for just enjoying himself." It's hard to overstate the awesomeness of that.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the finalists for all the awards are being announced. finalists is a fancy term for who finished in the top 3.

Mookie, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Trout are the AL MVP finalists. not sure when it's fully announced.
 

Rusty13

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the finalists for all the awards are being announced. finalists is a fancy term for who finished in the top 3.

Mookie, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Trout are the AL MVP finalists. not sure when it's fully announced.
No JD Martinez. Disappointing, but hopefully this just motivates him to crush it even more next year!
 

Al Zarilla

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the finalists for all the awards are being announced. finalists is a fancy term for who finished in the top 3.

Mookie, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Trout are the AL MVP finalists. not sure when it's fully announced.
Think I heard them say next week (for CY, MVP, ROY, MOY). Different award each day, starting Monday. Yes, starts next Monday.