Mookie Betts

LahoudOrBillyC

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For what its worth, I suspect that the Baseball Ops folks at Fenway are talking about Betts's future position every day, likely they have finished their coffee.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Doesn't Portland have a green monster? Maybe he should be taking balls off the wall instead of just shagging BP flies.
 

pokey_reese

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Dave Cameron tweeted this fun fact today:  "Since start of 2013 season, Mookie Betts has played exactly 162 games. 204 H, 48 2B, 5 3B, 21 HR, 101 BB, 70 K, 56 SB, 7 CS."
 
...and no one had to be a dingus.
 
Still, those are crazy numbers, even if the are between A/AA.
 

pokey_reese

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Just some more fuel for the fire, on what is officially "Mookie Betts Day" on the internet.
 
Fangraphs put up this piece, entitled "Mookie is Coming" http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mookie-is-coming/
 
Baseball Prospectus has an article up today (behind paywall) on 2nd base prospects: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23599
 
     - In the BP article they not only list Mookie as the best 2B prospect (ahead of Odor, Schoop, and Jose Ramirez), but have him as the 5th best 2B under the age of 25 IN BASEBALL, on a list that is otherwise all major leaguers (behind Altuve, Rutledge, Gyorko, and Franklin)
 

TOleary25

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Little tidbit from Gammons in his notes column today hints that the Sox will soon try him out at short and the outfield:
 
http://www.gammonsdaily.com/gammons-notes-contract-extensions-for-pitchers-brad-ausmus-mookie-betts-and-more/
 
The Red Sox will not rush Betts despite his historic performance. He will spend time in Pawtucket, but the fact that he is soon going to move around, work at short and play the outfield is an indication that there is a legitimate chance he will be a contributor in the final month of the season, Tony Phillips revisited.
 
 

LondonSox

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Eddie Jurak said:
Mookie going to start in CF today.
Not sure that this is a coincidence coming a day after the streak ended.
I was impressed by his attitude yesterday focused on the game, rbi groundouts and a very good double play to end it.
 

Rovin Romine

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Since it wasn't specifically commemorated in the thread, I'd like to point out that Betts hit in 71 consecutive games (including playoffs), which ties the MiL record, depending on how you look at it (multiple season streaks/counting or not counting playoff games, etc.)
 
It's a pretty amazing achievement.  
 

DJnVa

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Rovin Romine said:
Since it wasn't specifically commemorated in the thread, I'd like to point out that Betts hit in 71 consecutive games (including playoffs), which ties the MiL record, depending on how you look at it (multiple season streaks/counting or not counting playoff games, etc.)
 
It's a pretty amazing achievement.  
 
I'd quibble with your language a bit. Saying he "hit in" 71 straights sounds like a hitting streak. He had an on-base streak of 71.
 

IdiotKicker

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I love Mookie as much as the next guy, but did this guy not see Mike Trout put up .326/.414/.544 while stealing 33 bases as a 19-year-old in AA?  Clearly Mookie is just the second-best prospect of the last 5 years.
 

WenZink

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Chuck Z said:
I love Mookie as much as the next guy, but did this guy not see Mike Trout put up .326/.414/.544 while stealing 33 bases as a 19-year-old in AA?  Clearly Mookie is just the second-best prospect of the last 5 years.
 
A couple of points that you probably already know:
 
1) It's rare that a Scout covers all regions or all of the minor leagues.  So, this scout may have not seen Trout play his AA season for the Arkansas Travelers.
2) We're not sure of the entire context of the Scout's statement.  Mookie might be the best prospect he's seen in terms of plate discipline or solid contact, or whatever.
 
Also when you see a Scout quoted as saying, "Mookie is one of the ten best prospects," understand that he may have 20 "ten best prospects," without having to put it in writing.  No different than if we see a great movie we tout it as one of the ten best we've ever seen, but really have twice that many if we sat down and thought about it.
 

LondonSox

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Astonishing performance last night
 
1/1 4BB walk off 2BI triple oh and 1R and 1SB
 
Will be interesting to watch, I am not sure I would be giving him much to hit either which could force the Sox hand on moving him up.
 
Also this Portland team is freaking killing it right now.
 

someoneanywhere

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WenZink said:
 
A couple of points that you probably already know:
 
1) It's rare that a Scout covers all regions or all of the minor leagues.  So, this scout may have not seen Trout play his AA season for the Arkansas Travelers.
2) We're not sure of the entire context of the Scout's statement.  Mookie might be the best prospect he's seen in terms of plate discipline or solid contact, or whatever.
 
Also when you see a Scout quoted as saying, "Mookie is one of the ten best prospects," understand that he may have 20 "ten best prospects," without having to put it in writing.  No different than if we see a great movie we tout it as one of the ten best we've ever seen, but really have twice that many if we sat down and thought about it.
 
You're focusing on the wrong part of the quote. Who gives a shit about arbitrary statements like best prospects or category skills like plate discipline? All of that is meaningless. The carry-away is that a scout thinks Betts can play today in the big leagues: and that is saying something beyond "prospect" talk. And the scout knows that's the carry-away. That's all he's trying to convey, and he's trying to give it force with all the stuff about best prospect, etc.
 
Of course the guy could be full of crap, a moron. But I think not. Mookie is playing the OF now -- note they are going to move him around out there, and let him play the corners -- not merely for some future need, but to determine if he can help this year. They want to see where he is out there before they make a move. 
 

WenZink

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someoneanywhere said:
 
You're focusing on the wrong part of the quote. Who gives a shit about arbitrary statements like best prospects or category skills like plate discipline? All of that is meaningless. The carry-away is that a scout thinks Betts can play today in the big leagues: and that is saying something beyond "prospect" talk. And the scout knows that's the carry-away. That's all he's trying to convey, and he's trying to give it force with all the stuff about best prospect, etc.
 
Of course the guy could be full of crap, a moron. But I think not. Mookie is playing the OF now -- note they are going to move him around out there, and let him play the corners -- not merely for some future need, but to determine if he can help this year. They want to see where he is out there before they make a move. 
 
I think you're missing something.... Mookie is ready to play 2nd base in the majors, "right now."  If Pedroia were to break his foot with a foul ball, like he did in mid-2010, Mookie would be starting at 2nd as soon as the Sox could make room on the 40-man roster.  But ask that same scout if Mookie were ready to "play now" at any position other than second, he'd probably qualify his declaration with "let's see how he handles moving around the outfield."  Let's see hjow he handles getting moved out of his comfort zone.
 

Eddie Jurak

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WenZink said:
 
I think you're missing something.... Mookie is ready to play 2nd base in the majors, "right now."  If Pedroia were to break his foot with a foul ball, like he did in mid-2010, Mookie would be starting at 2nd as soon as the Sox could make room on the 40-man roster.  But ask that same scout if Mookie were ready to "play now" at any position other than second, he'd probably qualify his declaration with "let's see how he handles moving around the outfield."  Let's see hjow he handles getting moved out of his comfort zone.
Mookie already has more time in the OF than Manny Machado had at 3B when he became the Orioles starting 3B in the middle of a pennant race. If they are ready to call him up tomorrow in the event of a serious injury to Pedroia, then realistically they aren't far from ready to call him up to fill a hole in the OF, unless he's a disaster out there.
 

WenZink

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Eddie Jurak said:
Mookie already has more time in the OF than Manny Machado had at 3B when he became the Orioles starting 3B in the middle of a pennant race. If they are ready to call him up tomorrow in the event of a serious injury to Pedroia, then realistically they aren't far from ready to call him up to fill a hole in the OF, unless he's a disaster out there.
Not even close.  Nava would be brought up first, and if the injury was to a CF, then they'd make a small deal to fill the hole.  The Sox aren't about to break in a 21 year old kid to MLB pitching and to playing the outfield.
 

LondonSox

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I have no idea how Williams hit 400. The season Mookie is having and he's steadily drifting away from 400.

Anyway to recap the level of ridiculousness.

More SB (22) more xbh (25) more bb (31) than K (16). I mean that's beyond silly.

Overall line 366/452/575/1028 with 22sb vs 3cs with plus defence at one position and counting.

Edit Nearly 2:1 bb to K is not something you see very often.
 

Al Zarilla

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LondonSox said:
I have no idea how Williams hit 400. The season Mookie is having and he's steadily drifting away from 400.

Anyway to recap the level of ridiculousness.

More SB (22) more xbh (25) more bb (31) than K (16). I mean that's beyond silly.

Overall line 366/452/575/1028 with 22sb vs 3cs with plus defence at one position and counting.

Edit Nearly 2:1 bb to K is not something you see very often.
Don't know about Betts, but, about Williams: 
 
He also hit .388 at the age of 38.
 
When he hit .406 in 1941, overall MLB BA was .263. The most recent .400 hitter before Ted was Bill Terry in 1930, when the league average was .296. In the NL, in which Terry played, the overall average was .303. So, Ted hit .143 over the MLB avg., Terry .105 (he hit .401 in 1930). 
 

LogansDad

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I would hope so.... he has put up 221 plate appearances of consistent domination at AA, after a full season of it in A and A+ ball last year.  He is quickly drifting away from "small sample size" and closer to the "he has nothing left to prove here" zone.
 

JakeRae

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Williams did it by a combination of virtually never striking out, having 30+ HR power, and having great BABIP skill. He was a career .328 BABIP guy, but in his .406 season that was .378. His K% was 4.5% that year. And, while not related to hitting .400, if you think Mookie's 2:1 BB/K ratio is impressive, Williams was at 5.44 that year. For comparison, Mookie, who is really hard to strike out, is still striking out at a 7.2% clip this year. 
 

mwonow

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JakeRae said:
Williams did it by a combination of virtually never striking out, having 30+ HR power, and having great BABIP skill. He was a career .328 BABIP guy, but in his .406 season that was .378. His K% was 4.5% that year. And, while not related to hitting .400, if you think Mookie's 2:1 BB/K ratio is impressive, Williams was at 5.44 that year. For comparison, Mookie, who is really hard to strike out, is still striking out at a 7.2% clip this year. 
That's just sick, all of it
 

IdiotKicker

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mwonow said:
That's just sick, all of it
 
If you want to get sicker, Williams only had one season with an OBP below .400 (.372 when he was 40) and only 4 seasons with a SLG below .600. Williams had more years with an OBP over .500 than below .400.  Pretty much he did was Mookie has done this year in AA every year in the majors.  Except with more power.  He was ok.
 

ivanvamp

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Not that this thread is about the Splinter, but talking about his hitting is, to me, like talking about Pedro's pitching.  Otherworldly.  And the guy missed his age 24, 25, and 26 seasons to WWII, and most of his age 33 and 34 seasons to the Korean War.  Essentially five full seasons gone.  When he averaged .347/.484/.633/1.117, with 32 hr, 126 rbi a year.  So tack on five more of those and his career numbers are off the charts.
 

ivanvamp

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Betts' numbers the last two years:
 
2013:  462 ab, 93 r, 15 hr, 65 rbi, 38 sb, 4 cs, .314/.417/.506/.923
2014:  190 ab, 50 r, 6 hr, 30 rbi, 22 sb, 3 cs, .363/.451/.568/1.020
 
He has to be moved up to AAA soon.  And I don't know if it'll be much longer before he simply forces their hand and they have to promote him to Boston.  Kid is crazy good.
 

LondonSox

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I have to say he's moving to the untouchable- figure out how to get him in the lineup level prospect.
It's really hard to argue that he's in a hot streak at this point. Even as he's cooled power, he's flashed the glove, speed, contact, discipline. All for a guy who might be able to place CF/SS/2B +
 
I would expect him in AAA soon, or the all star game break at the latest. And it could be sooner if he keeps walking this much. It's nice to see he can take a walk even if they don't want to give him a pitch to hit. (Plus the speed makes giving him a base a potential double!). Once he's done that enough to show he isn't losing discipline he isn't going to learn much.
 
That game with 4 walks and then the walk off triple when they HAD to pitch to him... Yeah that was the moment for me 
 

RedOctober3829

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My guess is that he gets promoted around the end of June.  If you look at the top positional player prospects of recent memory, they haven't been promoted to Pawtucket with less than 61 games played at Portland.
 
JBJ: 61
Dustin Pedroia and Garin Cecchini: 66
Jacoby Ellsbury: 67
Xander Bogaerts: 79
 
He's played 48 games at Portland. 
 

E5 Yaz

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He's played 7 games in the outfield. Seven. With Drew on the way, where do those calling for a call-up relatively soon expect him to play? They're not putting him in CF in the major leagues after a couple dozen games of outfield experience.
 
And please, don't go the Zobrist route. Tampa Bay constructs its lineup in a far different fashion than the Red Sox. A Zobrist has more chances to move around the field. Bets isn't taking time away from Pedroia or X. 
 
He won't be up until they think he can play the outfield in a professional manner
 

RedOctober3829

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E5 Yaz said:
He's played 7 games in the outfield. Seven. With Drew on the way, where do those calling for a call-up relatively soon expect him to play? They're not putting him in CF in the major leagues after a couple dozen games of outfield experience.
 
And please, don't go the Zobrist route. Tampa Bay constructs its lineup in a far different fashion than the Red Sox. A Zobrist has more chances to move around the field. Bets isn't taking time away from Pedroia or X. 
 
He won't be up until they think he can play the outfield in a professional manner
If you're referring to my comments, I was speculating on when he'd be promoted to Pawtucket not Boston.
 

E5 Yaz

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RedOctober3829 said:
If you're referring to my comments, I was speculating on when he'd be promoted to Pawtucket not Boston.
 
Nope, just the general tone before that
 

Eddie Jurak

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His road to Boston in 2014 would require:

1. Promotion to Pawtucket.
2. Continued excellence after promotion to Pawtucket.
3. Reasonable adaptation to the OF. Doesn't have to be JBJ but he can't be an embarrassment.
4. A return to playoff contention for Boston (else why bother burning service time?)
5. A hole he could fill with the major league team.

The last one is the easiest - he could be a more versatile and more talented talented version of Quinton Berry.

Probably the most difficult one is Boston getting back into the race.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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E5 Yaz said:
He's played 7 games in the outfield. Seven. With Drew on the way, where do those calling for a call-up relatively soon expect him to play? They're not putting him in CF in the major leagues after a couple dozen games of outfield experience.
 
 
Left. Or right. And a little center. And yes, backing up second. I don't buy that it's all that hard to transition to the outfield if you're a good athlete. Junior Lake did it with 6 games of minor league experience and he's been fine defensively. In fact he had zero minor league games in the outfield last year when the Cubs called him up at gave him almost 500 innings. He's the first name that jumps out at me as someone who did that recently but I'm sure there are others.
 
When they hit the ball at you, you catch it and throw to the cutoff man. It ain't rocket science and all these guys have played some of everything at some level of this sport.
 
 
And please, don't go the Zobrist route. Tampa Bay constructs its lineup in a far different fashion than the Red Sox. A Zobrist has more chances to move around the field. Bets isn't taking time away from Pedroia or X. 
 
He won't be up until they think he can play the outfield in a professional manner
 
 
 
Yes, Tampa constructs their roster differently. They do it better than we do. We should emulate their success. Sure, Betts won't get as many reps at second given Pedroia, just as Zobrist doesn't get many at third because of Longoria. Our Zobrist will look a little different but it's still a viable role.
 

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Any reports on how Mookie has looked in the OF thus far?
 
And has his average dipped materially while he's been in the OF?  I know I could look but am assuming others already know that and I'm quite lazy. 
 

snowmanny

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Youkilis played 18 games in LF in 2006 and I do not believe he had any prior experience as an outfielder.  I also recall that he said "It's not that hard."
 

foulkehampshire

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TheoShmeo said:
Any reports on how Mookie has looked in the OF thus far?
 
And has his average dipped materially while he's been in the OF?  I know I could look but am assuming others already know that and I'm quite lazy. 
 
He's batting .273 over his last 10 games.
 
 
 
 
...however his OPS is .929 over the same span. 5 2B, 1 3B, 10/3 BB/K ratio. Seems to be a product of BABIP normalizing. He wasn't gonna hit .400 all season.
 

WenZink

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foulkehampshire said:
 
He's batting .273 over his last 10 games.
 
 
 
 
...however his OPS is .929 over the same span. 5 2B, 1 3B, 10/3 BB/K ratio. Seems to be a product of BABIP normalizing. He wasn't gonna hit .400 all season.
 
And two days later, Betts is hitting .212 over his last 10 games, failing to reach base safely in 3 of the 10 after his 71 game streak.  His 11 BB still give him a .413 OBP, but his SLG has dropped to Cecchini levels (.364)
 
Is his slump related to his move to CF?  Possibly.  Certainly there's a drop in the comfort level, but if he's the real deal, he can establish a new comfort level.
 

Madmartigan

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FWIW, Betts has jumped from 61 to 22 on Keith Law's list of top prospects.  Law still has him ranked behind Owens, who's listed at #20. 
 

smastroyin

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Or, players streak and slump and it has nothing to do with the position they are being asked to play.
 
Players and coaches and most people associated with baseball are superstitious, and perhaps there is even causation there - do the right thing by your superstition, play with more confidence, whatever.  I don't know, the data are fuzzy and I'm not a psychologist.  But I think superstition more than worrying about a new position affecting a player's approach at the plate would be why they waited until the end of the streak to move him.  That he has slumped for three days a week afterward doesn't really tell us much.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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smastroyin said:
Or, players streak and slump and it has nothing to do with the position they are being asked to play.
 
Players and coaches and most people associated with baseball are superstitious, and perhaps there is even causation there - do the right thing by your superstition, play with more confidence, whatever.  I don't know, the data are fuzzy and I'm not a psychologist.  But I think superstition more than worrying about a new position affecting a player's approach at the plate would be why they waited until the end of the streak to move him.  That he has slumped for three days a week afterward doesn't really tell us much.
 
The same phenomena is happening with Bogaerts .. NESN last night were speculating that X's offensive resurgence coincided with the Drew signing .. never mind that he had started to get hot the week before that.