Mookie Betts

OttoC

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2003
7,353
I saw Betts play a couple of games in the AFL and at the plate he was a Single-A player in a Triple-A setting. He is currently batting .233 (7 for 30) but he was 3 for 6 in his first start, so he is batting .167, otherwise, and is splitting time with Cleveland's Joe Wendle at second. He runs well but I didn't see him have more than routine plays in the field, so it is hard to comment on his fielding prowess.
 
Cecchini has a very good eye at the plate but is not hitting for the average I expected. He looked a bit lackadaisical at the plate (this latter comment from a friend I was sitting with, who goes to many, many baseball games at various levels).
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
17,110
That was a good article. I don't like this part though: "Two things helped Betts break out of his funk. One was a conversation with hitting coach U.L. Washington, who told him to be more aggressive “because you can’t walk your way to Fenway.”
 
I really don't like hearing that the Red Sox have a hitting coach who is telling that kind of thing to young players. Sure it worked for Betts, but he probably would have broken out of his slump anyway. Our coaches should be telling everyone to drive their pitch when they get it, but "You can't walk your way to Fenway" is a lousy concept. You need to walk if you want to get to Fenway. Walks are good, and young players need to know that the organization believes that 100%.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
Isn't it possible that that particular bit of advice was specifically for Betts, and not a general philosophy  I mean, Betts is blocked at the major league level (yeah... getting way ahead of ourselves here) by Dustin Pedroia.  He has no real experience at third, and apparently doesn't have the arm to play short.  So if he's going to end up on the major league roster, he's going to need to impress at the plate in a big way.  That means he'll need to do more than maintain a high OBP.  He doesn't appear to be well suited to utility duties, so he may have to move to the outfield if he's going to be a starter for this organization.  His window is unfortunately timed because of the Pedroia extension.  Dustin isn't going anywhere, so Betts needs to keep hitting for the power he showed this year if he's going to become a legitimate corner outfield option.
 
Honestly, I could see him becoming sort of a Ben Zobrist type.  Someone who spends a lot of time in the outfield but backs up second base as Pedroia gets older and maybe can't handle 150+ games a year anymore.  In that light, being more aggressive might be the right advice for him.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
13,013
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Snodgrass'Muff said:
Isn't it possible that that particular bit of advice was specifically for Betts, and not a general philosophy  I mean, Betts is blocked at the major league level (yeah... getting way ahead of ourselves here) by Dustin Pedroia.  He has no real experience at third, and apparently doesn't have the arm to play short.  So if he's going to end up on the major league roster, he's going to need to impress at the plate in a big way.  That means he'll need to do more than maintain a high OBP.  He doesn't appear to be well suited to utility duties, so he may have to move to the outfield if he's going to be a starter for this organization.  His window is unfortunately timed because of the Pedroia extension.  Dustin isn't going anywhere, so Betts needs to keep hitting for the power he showed this year if he's going to become a legitimate corner outfield option.
 
Honestly, I could see him becoming sort of a Ben Zobrist type.  Someone who spends a lot of time in the outfield but backs up second base as Pedroia gets older and maybe can't handle 150+ games a year anymore.  In that light, being more aggressive might be the right advice for him.
 
Well, aside from that, Betts said in this article that in the beggining of the year he was walking up there with the bat on his shoulders, and it led to a poor start by him. Telling a guy who has good plate discipline, and doesn't get antsy to swing the bat, to be more aggressive is good advice, especially when the opposite approach was detrimental do his performance in this very season.
 

ScubaSteveAvery

Master of the Senate
SoSH Member
Jul 29, 2007
8,329
Everywhere
I'm not worrying about that advice.  For one, its true.  You have to show you can hit to make it to the Majors and if Betts was simply trying to draw walks and not drive his pitch, then he had a subpar approach.  He talked about letting "his pitches" go by, meaning he was watching pitches he could drive go by, even if it was early in the count.  I don't have a problem with a hitter swinging at the first or second pitch, as long as its a pitch that the hitter was looking for.  The article showed a nuance and maturity to his plate approach.  It seemed like he wasn't going up to the plate with much of a plan at all, and now his plan is a disciplined one - swing at pitches he is looking for, and take pitches he isn't looking for. 
 

LondonSox

Robert the Deuce
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,956
North Bay California
I think the key is Betts says he wasn't swinging at HIS pitches, so reinforcing that you want to have a plan not just watch everything and JUST walk.
If the advice was swing away that's different of course
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
15,294
UWS, NYC
What other position, in history, has been blessed with four more awesome names for its top four prospects than Kolton Wong, Rougned Odor, Mookie Betts, and Arismendy Alcantara?
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
7,263
Mugsys Jock said:
What other position, in history, has been blessed with four more awesome names for its top four prospects than Kolton Wong, Rougned Odor, Mookie Betts, and Arismendy Alcantara?
 
Not possible - lock it!
 

LondonSox

Robert the Deuce
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,956
North Bay California
Number 61 prospect according to Mr Keith LAw
 
Among his more interesting comments is that he could be an all-star at second and maybe close to that at short (Law reports several scouts thinking he could play at Short which is a more positive scouting assessment than I have heard before)
Says he could eventually have 20 Homer power, a plus runner and at least a 55 at second. Best attribute might be his feel for the strike zone.
 

seantoo

toots his own horn award winner
Jul 16, 2005
1,308
Southern NH, from Watertown, MA
Seeing how Betts has emerged and that we have a fantastic farm system, was it wise to sign beloved small bodied Pedrioa who plays all out and has the type of swing that likely will not fade away slowly? Yes, I realize Dustin signed a team friendly contract but he'll be 37 by the end of the deal and is a player whose battled through increasing injuries. My concern with Pedrioa is that by 34/35 he'll be a shell of the player he is because of the very nature of how he plays. What then? Am I on a island on this one?
 

MakMan44

stole corsi's dream
SoSH Member
Aug 22, 2009
19,363
Pedey just had his 3rd best season in his career by WAR, all while playing with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's possibly the best 2nd basemen in the game, the face of the franchise and took a pretty healthy discount to stay with the team through the rest of his career. I'm pretty sure you're alone on that island. 
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
8,294
New York, NY
seantoo said:
Seeing how Betts has emerged and that we have a fantastic farm system, was it wise to sign beloved small bodied Pedrioa who plays all out and has the type of swing that likely will not fade away slowly? Yes, I realize Dustin signed a team friendly contract but he'll be 37 by the end of the deal and is a player whose battled through increasing injuries. My concern with Pedrioa is that by 34/35 he'll be a shell of the player he is because of the very nature of how he plays. What then? Am I on a island on this one?
Yes, you are. Also, your post really has nothing to do with Mookie Betts.
 

OttoC

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2003
7,353
seantoo said:
Seeing how Betts has emerged and that we have a fantastic farm system, was it wise to sign beloved small bodied Pedrioa who plays all out and has the type of swing that likely will not fade away slowly? Yes, I realize Dustin signed a team friendly contract but he'll be 37 by the end of the deal and is a player whose battled through increasing injuries. My concern with Pedrioa is that by 34/35 he'll be a shell of the player he is because of the very nature of how he plays. What then? Am I on a island on this one?
 
Although this really is not on the topic of this thread, I thought I'd let people know that you are not alone on the island. I thought it would have made more sense to pay him more per year for a shorter term contract.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
I hope Mookie Betts puts pressure on Pedroia and the Red Sox to make a tough decision.
 
I tend to doubt that this will happen, but I hope it does.
 
If a front office spends more than the time it takes to type this sentence worrying about major league team continuity planning based on how a single A player has done, then they should all be fired.  Trust me, if it turns out that Mookie Betts is good enough in two years that we want him playing in front of Pedroia, then some 25 other teams will think the same thing.  Having too much of anything is not a problem in a resource scarce league.  
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
8,294
New York, NY
Marc Hulett's writeup of Betts over at Fangraphs emphasizes his athleticism and discusses a potential ability to shift to CF or SS. He does feel 2B is Betts natural position and comments on Betts main athletic weakness defensively being weak arm. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2014-top-10-prospects-boston-red-sox/

Coupled with reports that he is working out at short, my dream of Betts developing as a Zobrist type super-utility player is still intact. (The Zobrist comp is as to the usage of the position for a player who is good enough to be starting but versatile enough to not need to be locked into a single position. A guy who can provide 500 plus PAs of above average performance at, basically, any position fits perfectly into the "deep depth" concept we, and the FO, have been focused on lately.

Additionally, this millitates against any concerns that might exist as to his being blocked by Pedroia. If he ends up being as versatile as I and others hope, it won't be possible to block him.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
If his weakness I his throwing arm, then maybe he could end up in LF. If he can continue to project as a high OBP, mediocre SLG summing to around 800 OPS then he could be a faster version of Daniel Nava.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
Keith Law named Betts the most blocked prospect in the game.  I don't have ESPN Insider, so I can't read the whole article, but this piece at overthemonster.com suggests that Law doesn't even consider the possibility of using Betts like Zobrist.  He just lists the positions he could play and all the reasons why he's blocked at them.  It feels like rosy speculation about prospects at those positions long term and short sighted in that he can't see past the idea of Betts playing one position all of the time.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
Why are you treating it like an insulting comment?  The only scenario in which it matters that he is "most blocked" is one in which he or WMB and Cecchini (or even JBJ) will have a ton of trade value. 
 
The guy had an awesome breakout season, but people are already whining that we aren't writing future lineups with his name in stone?  I don't get this, I really don't.  There is never ever ever ever a problem with having too many good players. 
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
I'm not treating it like an insulting comment and I wasn't whining that he isn't being written into future lineups.  I just thought Law had limited his thinking unnecessarily and that the idea of "most blocked" is mostly meaningless.  There are any number of ways in which Betts could end up a starter for the Sox, just like it's entirely possible that he could flame out and never play a day in the majors.
 
It seems like a silly article to write in the first place, regardless of who he wrote it about.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
In the abstract, why does anyone ever rank prospects at all?  Or, put it this way, what is meaningful about the chart you are putting together to aggregate Red Sox prospect rankings?  What does it really mean to have the #35 ranked prospect as opposed to the #57?  Do you really know?
 
When you can answer all that, then you will have the answer to why people are paid to dissect these rankings every which way.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
smastroyin said:
When you can answer all that, then you will have the answer to why people are paid to dissect these rankings every which way.
 
I think it's even more simple than that.  People get paid to write about it because fans enjoy reading about their team's prospects.  I get that your questions attempt to dig into why fans enjoy it so much, but I wasn't questioning why top prospects live under such a microscope so much as Law's approach in this particular article.
 
In short, I think it's a weak article but since others might find it interesting, I passed it along.
 

LondonSox

Robert the Deuce
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,956
North Bay California
Overshadowed by Mr Owens as he was a little quite the opening day for Mr Betts too
 
4-4 (in 6 innings) with a season opening home run in the first AB of the season!!
3 runs scored (of the 5) 1 RBI
 

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,352
Boston, MA
LondonSox said:
Ho Hum another 3-5 with 2 2B but was caught stealing 3rd
 
I THINK the 2111 OPS might be unsustainable if he doesn't walk more though
You were right, he went 1-4 twice in a row with just one walk, and the OPS is down to 1.438
 

SouthernBoSox

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2005
12,122
LondonSox said:
0/2 with 2 walks in a 10-1 loss
 
Ops down to 1335 Oh noes
 
Stats I love to watch:
K to BB and XBH so far 1 K 3 BB and 4 XBH.
Yea, the K/BB/XBH is as good of an indicator of future success than anything.

And Mookie is a monster I'm those areas.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
22,567
Philadelphia
Obviously everything hinges on Mookie's performance and development and there is a long way to go in that respect so talk of where he fits into the major league club is premature speculation.  But, as long we're going down that road (which is kind of fun), isn't the obvious potential role for him with the Red Sox in 2015 or 2016 as the new-and-improved Gomes, the righthanded side of a LF platoon with Nava that can also spell Pedroia and Bogaerts on occasion?  Depending on how he performs, you can then decide whether or not to let him play LF against RHP more often.  He may be technically "blocked" at certain positions but the path to 300-400 ABs may be clearer than it first appears.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
27,644
Roanoke, VA
If he keeps progressing and forces the issue, I'm all for a Zobrist style floater around the field.  That would be enormously valuable to the Red Sox.
 

LondonSox

Robert the Deuce
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,956
North Bay California
On the ba hot sheet at number three
http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-april-11-joc-pedersons-wide-ranging-tool-set-plays-at-triple-a/
3. Mookie Betts, 2b, Red Sox
Team: Double-A Portland (Eastern)
Age: 21
Why Hes Here: .464/.531/.750 (13-for-28), 6 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SO, 2-for-3 SB
The Scoop: Betts has carried the momentum of a tremendous 2013 (.314/.417/.506 with 15 homers and 38 steals) into 2014. He began the season going 4-for-4 with a home run against Reading and has not slowed down, continuing to show excellent plate discipline. Though small (5-foot-9, 170 pounds), he has quick hands to generate extra-base power. Hes blocked at second base in Boston by Dustin Pedroia, and while the Red Sox talked about getting Betts some time at shortstop this year, so far hes stayed exclusively at second base.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
I mentioned in the spring training thread that I attended a morning workout at spring training and he was working at 3B.  
 

IdiotKicker

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
11,181
Somerville, MA
So a question I had posted before the purge was whether Betts has the ability to move back to SS if Xander outgrows the position and has to move over to 3B. Anyone with a better handle on his skills have a take on this?
 

LondonSox

Robert the Deuce
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,956
North Bay California
He played SS before signing with the Sox and the altheticism is there, the arm is the main question.
He certainly can play SS but I am dubious he could be an everyday starter there.
 
Scouts recently have been suggesting he could. In the past the consensus was he didn't have the arm for it. I think he could as a fill in or give people days off etc.
As part of a Zobrist role, he could include SS.
I think with practice there's no reason that he couldn't play 2B, SS and presumably 1B and corner outfield.
 
If his arm is questionable for SS I doubt 3B makes sense.
 
Also if he could do this I'm surprised he's not been given any reps at all there.
 

Just a bit outside

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 6, 2011
8,302
Monument, CO
LondonSox said:
 
If his arm is questionable for SS I doubt 3B makes sense.
 
 
You can have a weaker arm at 3B.  The ball gets to you quicker so the 3B has more time.  The throw from 3B is also shorter than many of the throws a shortstop has to make on balls in hole and relays.
 

wolfe_boston

Commissioner of Calvinball
Mar 16, 2014
110
Based on the scouting reports he is 100% a 2nd baseman. He doen't have the arm for SS and CF is blocked by JBJ. To rotate him around corner positions would make his defensive skills less valuable and his offense less impressive. If the Sox aren't going to move Pedroia, and they certainly won't, Mookie should be traded. Hopefully, he could be exchanged for a blue chip outfield or 1st base prospect.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
45,308
Melrose, MA
Disagree. I think the reports on Betts suggest he doesn't have the arm to be an everyday SS. That doesn't mean he's "locked" into 2B, though. I think he could add enormous value as a multi-position guy. (Look no further than the current Red Sox injury woes. A major league-ready Betts would be an enormous asset to the Sox right now.

Beyond that, Pedroia has played through a lot of injuries of late, and there is no guarantee of his health during the life of the contract. In general 2Bs are at greater risk of injury than most other positions.

I don't see any reason to have to move Betts. If he pans out as a prospect, the Sox can find a way to make use of him.
 

foulkehampshire

hillbilly suburbanite
SoSH Member
Feb 25, 2007
5,101
Wesport, MA
wolfe_boston said:
Based on the scouting reports he is 100% a 2nd baseman. He doen't have the arm for SS and CF is blocked by JBJ. To rotate him around corner positions would make his defensive skills less valuable and his offense less impressive. If the Sox aren't going to move Pedroia, and they certainly won't, Mookie should be traded. Hopefully, he could be exchanged for a blue chip outfield or 1st base prospect.
 
If Mookie keeps hitting like Tony Gwynn I'm 100% certain JBJ isn't going to be a roadblock preventing this guy from playing for the Red Sox. 
 

wolfe_boston

Commissioner of Calvinball
Mar 16, 2014
110
foulkehampshire said:
If Mookie keeps hitting like Tony Gwynn I'm 100% certain JBJ isn't going to be a roadblock preventing this guy from playing for the Red Sox.
I'm not so sure- JBJ is one hell of a defensive CFer and has some offensive upside as well. It will be fun to see how it plays out.
 

Mike F

Mayor of Fort Myers
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 13, 2000
2,068
wolfe_boston said:
I'm not so sure- JBJ is one hell of a defensive CFer and has some offensive upside as well. It will be fun to see how it plays out.
Not to speak for Foulkhampshire but I read his post to mean that JBJ alone wouldn't block using
Mookie somewhere in the lineup
BTW Ben Zobrist sez hi.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
7,263
Mike F said:
Not to speak for Foulkhampshire but I read his post to mean that JBJ alone wouldn't block using
Mookie somewhere in the lineup
BTW Ben Zobrist sez hi.
 
I don't know if we need to be that oblique. If Mookie hits like Gwynn (lifetime .338/.388/.459, 9 of 10 b-ref comps in the HoF), JBJ and his (SSS, admittedly) .204/.307/.324 is not going to be a barrier to Mookie getting ML ABs.