Mookie Betts

wolfe_boston

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I think that some of the people commenting on this thread are missing the importance of position.  Let's take a look at Pedroia.  Based on his 2013 numbers his OPS is above average for 2B but below that of the corner positions:
 
 
http://scoresheetwiz.tripod.com/id136.html
 
But what makes him truly outstanding at 2B are his blurry-fast reflexes and quick first step.  At other positions his average arm and probably mediocre running speed will bring him closer to being average defensively so playing anywhere else will cause a loss in WAR. 
 
The other problem with keeping Mookie  to use him in the rotate him around the field scenario is that, unless he can play SS, I don't see were all these AB's are going to come.  X will be at 3B, JBJ will be in center and probably Cecchini will be in LF so that leaves 1B and RF where his Gwynn OPS will be less exciting and that's assuming he has the arm for RF.
 
To summarize, the Zobrist plan for Mookie is like having Magic Johnson play forward, he will be good there, but nowhere near as good.  The same thing happens with Mauer moving to 1st or Jeter refusing to budge from SS when AROD first joined the Yankees; the team loses some WAR.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Actually, it would be more like rotating Magic between point, forward and center, not picking the least effective position for him and throwing him there permanently.  The value gained in having a player who can play three or four positions on the field is a huge part of the equation, and you are completely ignoring it here.  Sure, his bat may not be as valuable, relative to the league, at an offense heavy position, but having him fill one of your roster spots instead of a Jonathan Herrera adds a ton of value and is exactly the kind of thing this team did last year in building from the bottom up.
 
Replacing your worst players with average or above average players is the best way to bring your team win expectancy up quickly.  I'm sure that if a trade which makes sense involving Mookie pops up, they'll give it the consideration it's due, but jumping "he should be traded" is missing the point.  There is currently zero pressure to do something with Betts other than let him continue to develop.
 

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At new Britain for the game mookie ripped a shot to right for a single then second time up got single to left on a Chang. 2 for 2
 

radsoxfan

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I think Snodgrass summed it up nicely, so I will pretty much just say I agree completely with his post.  Saying that Mookie might not have elite RF stats, therefore has limited value as a right fielder, misses the point in my opinion.  
 
Someone like Mookie (assuming he continues to hit like he has) creates "deep depth" almost by himself.  Between players that need days off and injuries, there are usually plenty of ABs to go around for a "super sub".  Having this be an average to above average offensive player is a huge value.  This is true even if some of those starts come at corner IF or corner OF spots.  On many teams, including this current Red Sox team, those ABs are going to scrubs.  In terms of value added, you need to view a super sub against the Hererras, Holts, Snyders, and Roberts of the world.  Not against a traditional starter at that position. 
 

benhogan

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If I'm Miami I start dangling Giancarlo Stanton in front of the offensive-starved Sox about now.  Look to land as many of those so-called 'blocked prospects' the Sox have like Betts, Marrero, Cecchini, or Swihart.  Pitchers like Britton, Webster, or De La Rosa.
 
I'm not advocating the Sox move a lot of the farm, but it wouldn't surprise me if Miami is salivating over some of our prospects.
 
Having Stanton in LF and batting 3rd would look mighty nice.
 
What are you willing to give up for Stanton?
 

wolfe_boston

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benhogan said:
If I'm Miami I start dangling Giancarlo Stanton in front of the offensive-starved Sox about now.  Look to land as many of those so-called 'blocked prospects' the Sox have like Betts, Marrero, Cecchini, or Swihart.  Pitchers like Britton, Webster, or De La Rosa.
 
I'm not advocating the Sox move a lot of the farm, but it wouldn't surprise me if Miami is salivating over some of our prospects.
 
Having Stanton in LF and batting 3rd would look mighty nice.
 
What are you willing to give up for Stanton?
I believe the only "blocked" top prospect is Betts. Swihart could catch in 2016, Cecchini could play LF next year as I don't think Sizemore will return and SS will be open as X will move to 3B.

IMO the possible discount from a chance to negotiate before he hits the market and the saving of QO pick would not justify depleting the farm system. If the Sox really want him it would be less costly to outbid the market next year.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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You keep stating that Xander is moving to third as if it is a fact.  Can you back that up?  The only thing people seem to agree on in that regard is that people disagree about it.  Where is your certainty coming from?
 

Al Zarilla

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wolfe_boston said:
I believe the only "blocked" top prospect is Betts. Swihart could catch in 2016, Cecchini could play LF next year as I don't think Sizemore will return and SS will be open as X will move to 3B.

IMO the possible discount from a chance to negotiate before he hits the market and the saving of QO pick would not justify depleting the farm system. If the Sox really want him it would be less costly to outbid the market next year.
What about Vazquez? 
 

mwonow

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radsoxfan said:
I think Snodgrass summed it up nicely, so I will pretty much just say I agree completely with his post.  Saying that Mookie might not have elite RF stats, therefore has limited value as a right fielder, misses the point in my opinion.  
 
Someone like Mookie (assuming he continues to hit like he has) creates "deep depth" almost by himself.  Between players that need days off and injuries, there are usually plenty of ABs to go around for a "super sub".  Having this be an average to above average offensive player is a huge value.  This is true even if some of those starts come at corner IF or corner OF spots.  On many teams, including this current Red Sox team, those ABs are going to scrubs.  In terms of value added, you need to view a super sub against the Hererras, Holts, Snyders, and Roberts of the world.  Not against a traditional starter at that position. 
 
Back to the point with the doc - I'm not playing the Stanton trade game. This thread is about Mookie. And fwiw, if he hits like a HoFer, he gets to play more or less wherever he wants - with the probable exception of 2B.
 
There's a point at which all this stuff about a quick first step/blurriness/etc. becomes irrelevant - and an OPS gap of 200+ points would be well past that point. Tony Gwynn is almost certainly a wildly, unrealistically optimistic comp for the Mookster, but if he looks like he might approach that, the Bradleys/Cecchinis/etc., no matter how exciting they look, aren't going to be a roadblock.
 

wolfe_boston

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Al Zarilla said:
What about Vazquez?
The scouting reports I have read generally give a higher upside to Swihart. He's a year behind so the decision will be based on a comparison of their 2015 seasons; Swihart at Pawtucket and Vaszquez in the major leagues Both appear to be too good to be a back up so one would be traded after 2015. Including one of them in a trade for Stanton would force the decision to be made over a year too early.
 

wolfe_boston

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
You keep stating that Xander is moving to third as if it is a fact.  Can you back that up?  The only thing people seem to agree on in that regard is that people disagree about it.  Where is your certainty coming from?
For sure, it's not a fact. Just about all of his scouting reports project a move to third and he hasn't looked good at SS so far, but maybe he'll settle down. If he could prove to be just average at SS that would be good enough.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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How old are these scouting reports?  When he was signed and early in his career, the consensus was that he'd need to move off of short, maybe even before making it to the majors.  Instead of that happening, he's proven to be incredibly athletic and many scouts have backed off of their predictions that he would definitely grow out of the position.
 

LondonSox

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They are old, there is no true consensus RE X any more, a pretty big split between if he can stick or not. But the ss who will push that question is Marrero imo. He is terrific defensively and improving offensively.
Of course if he forced the issue and X to third then you still have wmb and cecchini.

Mookie went 4/5 last night with a hr and 3 r and a K.

453/492/717/1209
 

Eddie Jurak

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wolfe_boston said:
To summarize, the Zobrist plan for Mookie is like having Magic Johnson play forward, he will be good there, but nowhere near as good.  The same thing happens with Mauer moving to 1st or Jeter refusing to budge from SS when AROD first joined the Yankees; the team loses some WAR.
During game 6 of the 1980 finals, with Kareem out of the lineup die to a badly sprained ankle, Magic started at center, played all five positions, and had a dominant performance - 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists - as LA closed out the Sixers. One of his best games as a pro. There's tremendous value in that kind of versatility, even in MLB.
 

LondonSox

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Another day another ho hum 2/5 2B 1r and a SB
 
As noted in the game thread 2/5 with a double and a steal and your average/ obp and slugging season numbers drop
 

LondonSox

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Last night a 2/4 2bb 2r 2sb(7 on the season)
 
Just to emphasise the ridiculousness this lowered his OPS while reaching base 4 times.
43 Total bases in 62 ABs.....
 

IdiotKicker

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Fully on the Mookie bandwagon at this point. There just don't seem to be many holes in his game right now, and continuing to show his power this year is huge for him. Probably my second-favorite prospect in the system behind Swihart right now.
 

SouthernBoSox

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So, at what point does positional experimentation happen?

We keep citing Ben Zobrist and how valuable it is having a guy who can play all over, but when is that going to occur.

Right now we have a second baseman who we feel is athletic enough to play other positions.

When might we see Mookie play some third and outfield?
 

Rovin Romine

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Also, what about approaching this from the other end - can Pedroia play any other position(s)?  (Yes, I know MB is a ways from the majors and is no sure thing - just putting it out there for conversation on an otherwise crappy baseball day.)
 
To answer SBS, I don't think they should mess with Mookie's hot streak.  Let him ride it out and cement his approach.  I always thought that Stetson was an example of a player that had a promising bat, but may have gotten side tracked when moved about the diamond. 
 

smastroyin

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I don't think they will move him around until they think he is ready for the majors.  The only reason to have him play any other position right now is to be in Boston.  Maybe they will give him some reps just ahead of a promotion like they did with Xander at 3B last year, but it will likely be a sign they are thinking of calling him up, more than planning for his future.
 
Outside of rehab assignments (where presumably they just wanted to get him reps without disrupting the minor league teams), Zobrist played all but 2 games of his minor league career at SS.  Some utility men (e.g. Tony Phillips) are utility in the minors, but many just play their position until the club wants them in the majors, then they make room for them.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Rovin Romine said:
Also, what about approaching this from the other end - can Pedroia play any other position(s)?  (Yes, I know MB is a ways from the majors and is no sure thing - just putting it out there for conversation on an otherwise crappy baseball day.)
 
To answer SBS, I don't think they should mess with Mookie's hot streak.  Let him ride it out and cement his approach.  I always thought that Stetson was an example of a player that had a promising bat, but may have gotten side tracked when moved about the diamond.
I agree. I guess the point I'm trying to get to with my question is this... When do you start feeling confident enough about a prospect that you start grooming him for a big league position on your ball club?

He ain't playing second base for the Boston Red Sox.
 

smastroyin

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I have consistently been of the philosophy that you keep players as high as you can on the defensive spectrum until they are blocked or show they aren't capable of playing the position.  If Mookie were doing this for his 500th something at bat at AA or above and the Sox were putting up with replacement level play in Boston out of a position he could cover...that's the time you think about moving him to see if you can piece him into the big club.  
 
While there are defensive specialties for each position in general major league players are capable of moving down the spectrum.  Outside of arm a guy who can handle second base can typically handle the corner OF.  Most can also handle 3B but of course there is the question of first step versus range since the former is more important for a 3B.
 
I guess my point is, even if the Nava/Gomes/Sizemore flameout continues, and the Red Sox want Mookie in the OF for later in the season or 2015, he doesn't need to be playing there now.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Zobrist's value is partly tied to the fact that TB hasn't ever had anyone else really good at 2B, SS, or corner OF for most of his career (unless I'm missing someone - please let me know).  So his versatility is a real asset to the team in allowing them to move pieces around to give them the best lineup in any particular game.
 
However, Pedroia and Bogaerts don't figure to be sitting much to improve matchups.  They're both pretty well locked in place if all goes according to plan.  That doesn't really hurt Betts' value, just Boston's ability to fully capitalize on it.
 
Now, he'd still be very useful.  As injury insurance, first and foremost, he'd be tremendous.  In a post-Ortiz world where the DH spot isn't locked up every day, he'd also allow for a DH rotation to help keep other guys healthy, which is great.  But I don't see his versatility being quite as useful as Zobrist's, simply because of the make up of the team around him.
 

Eddie Jurak

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SouthernBoSox said:
I agree. I guess the point I'm trying to get to with my question is this... When do you start feeling confident enough about a prospect that you start grooming him for a big league position on your ball club?

He ain't playing second base for the Boston Red Sox.
I think he'll be promoted to Pawtucket before they start playing him at different positions. Very similar to the way that Bogaerts was handled last year. He didn't start playing 3B until the Red Sox started looking at him as a likely 2013 callup.

Or consider Manny Machado with the Orioles - I don't think he played anywhere but SS until the decision was made to call him up to the big club and start him at 3B in a major league pennant race. (He might have had a game or two to get a feel for the position in the minors before his call up, but that was not until after the Os decided to go with him).

Until The club judges that Mookie is ready to contribute in the majors, the priority is on his development rather than on potentially having him ready to fill a major league need.

A counter example (and cautionary tale) would be the Red Sox handling of Donnie Sadler 15 or so years ago. They were weak in CF, and ended up giving Sadler, a SS, a "crash course" in CF long before he ever showed that he was anywhere close to major league ready. (Arguably he never showed that). I don't quite buy in to the narrative that the Sox "ruined" Sadler, but there was certainly no need to mess with the development of a guy who was clearly nowhere near ready for the majors.
 

LondonSox

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Two games to update.
Friday Mookie went 2/6 with a SB and 2r

Saturday was a wild game. I highly recommend reading the recap. Anyway Mookie had some good and bad moments.
He did hit into a based loaded inning ending double play but he also hit a clutch rbi single, a 2 out game tying extra inning home run and a superb Web gem I'm extras to save the game defensively (saved two runs).
His line overall was 2/7 hr, r, 2rbi

On base streak continues.
 

Doctuh

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Was it just me or does Mookie have his own song for his walkup music? I swear I heard "Mookie Betts" in the song.
 

LondonSox

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So yeah the beat goes on and about the only think Mookie hasn't killed it at so far this year was walking, and given his exploding reputation it was likely he would see more out of the zone pitches.
 
Well last night 1/3 but 3BB, the one hit a double, 3R, 2 SB
 
Official on base streak up to 50, I'm not sure if you should include the playoffs or not (I would say yes but what do I know)
 
It's noticeable his is EVERYWHERE on the prospect followers right now, BA tweeting about #Mookiemadness etc.
Or my favourite overnight BA calling him Mookie Bonds (without the head)
 
I mean this is getting ridiculous.
 

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LondonSox said:
So yeah the beat goes on and about the only think Mookie hasn't killed it at so far this year was walking, and given his exploding reputation it was likely he would see more out of the zone pitches.
 
Well last night 1/3 but 3BB, the one hit a double, 3R, 2 SB
 
Official on base streak up to 50, I'm not sure if you should include the playoffs or not (I would say yes but what do I know)
 
It's noticeable his is EVERYWHERE on the prospect followers right now, BA tweeting about #Mookiemadness etc.
Or my favourite overnight BA calling him Mookie Bonds (without the head)
 
I mean this is getting ridiculous.
 
Hard to walk too much when you're getting 2,3 hits a game.
 

Doctuh

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Doctuh said:
Was it just me or does Mookie have his own song for his walkup music? I swear I heard "Mookie Betts" in the song.
 
Confirmed by Mike Antonellis, Mookie's walk-up music was made by his cousin.
 

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Just looking at a few of the recent Sox comps, I'd say he gets 50-60 games total (250-300 PA) before getting promoted which would place it in early- to mid-June. Pedroia killed AA pitching in his first exposure to the level at a similar age (Pedroia turned 22 in August of '05, Betts will turn 22 in October) and lasted 66 games (290 PA). Ellsbury had a similar level of dominating AA in 2007 and was promoted after 17 games (83 PA), but had already had 50 games (225 PA) in Portland the year before. Last year Bogaerts was similarly dominating AA and was bumped up after 56 games (259 PA), but also had 23 games (97 PA) the year before and was probably held back at least partially to work on his defense.
 

xjack

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I hope Speier is right about the Sox giving Betts a look at SS and OF once he gets to Pawtucket.
 

SouthernBoSox

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The more I think about the current team composition the more I think right field is really the most likely destination for him if he is to have a future on the big stage on this team.

The current major league team is lacking a long term, LF, RF, 1B, C, and maybe 3B. Obviously he isn't catching, after that the most difficult and important fielding position is right field. We saw the importance Vic brought with the glove in right last year.

I just don't buy the "super sub" stuff. It so rarely happens.

Starting corner OF who has the athleticism to play CF, 2nd, and 3rd in a pinch could be a lot of fun.
 

Apisith

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Pilgrim said:
I was looking at his Fangraphs page, and noticed his Oliver projections.    Holy crap.
 
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa597889&position=2B
Holy shit, indeed. Projections for consistent 5.5-6.0 WAR/year? Jesus. I know they'll drop when he inevitably comes back to Earth but right now, it's exciting as fuck. I say he's up to AAA middle June and sees time for us in September and hopefully October.
 

LondonSox

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Crazy thing about those projections is that includes a giant spike in %K, almost double this year so far and a significantly higher K to bb ratio than he's posted in the minors. Plus a drop in power.
Ie they don't even at first glance look optimistic!
 

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BTW, there's a long way to go and everything, but if Betts matches or exceeds the minor league on base record of 71 games held by Youkilis and Millar, the top 3 streaks of that kind will all be held by Portland Seadogs.  
 

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Speier's column was, as usual, excellent.  
 
It makes me think that the Sox best and most compelling option would be to try Mookie in LF.  And that they should do that very soon.
 
Between WMB, Xander and Marrero, they appear to be set (and already facing a glut) on the left side for the time being.
 
Moving from second to SS, while not impossible, seems like a bit of a stretch.
 
As noted above, Mookie may not have the arm for RF.
 
CF is the toughest OF position overall.
 
Pedey isn't going anywhere absent injury.  And in that horrendous event, re-learning second is totally manageable.
 
The Sox don't have a star or long term guy for LF right now.  
 
What am I missing?  It seems like a no brainer that they first try him in that spot. 
 

Apisith

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Would the Sox ever try something like JBJ in RF at Fenway with Mookie in center, and switch it around for away games? This way JBJ's range and arm is utilised for Fenway's RF but we get his better D in the tougher position in away games where RF would be easier to play than Fenway, and thus Mookie could handle that instead.
 

Apisith

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Because of how relatively easy it is to play LF in Fenway, it's our best bet - apart from 1B - of hiding a slugger who plays iffy defense. If someone has range and a decent arm, I think you have to try him in RF and CF first. We could use Mookie's D better than in LF, IMO.