Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts
26-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Boston Red Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
If there were any doubts about Betts' status as one of the best hitters in the game after his "down" 2017 season, he put them to rest with his AL MVP campaign. He may not be Mike Trout, but Betts is arguably now the 1B to Trout's 1A heading into 2019. Betts was second to Trout in wRC+ with a 185 mark, and he ranked fourth among qualified hitters in ISO, which is hard to fathom for a player who is 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. Thanks in part to a swing tweak, Betts added a whopping 82 points to his batting average, besting every other qualifier in average by 16 points, and also led the majors in slugging percentage. And even with all that, his most valuable contributions to fantasy owners came on the basepaths, with Betts going 30-for-36 in stolen-base attempts. In an era where steals are way down, his ability to chip in 25-plus bags annually while doing so much else makes him an incredibly rare commodity. Enjoy the ride. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $20 million contract with the Red Sox in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Launches first spring homer
OFBoston Red Sox
March 16, 2019
Betts went 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored in Saturday's game against the Braves.
There's been little drama to Betts' spring -- unlike last year when he endured a seven-game hitless streak to start the Grapefruit League. He's batting .296 with three extra-base hits. The 2018 AL MVP will be hitting out of the two hole, where in theory he'll get more at-bats with men on base and an opportunity to get back to 100 RBI. He knocked in 113 and 102 runs in 2016 and 2017, respectively, before dropping down to 80 last year when he was predominantly the leadoff hitter.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .985 442 85 22 70 25 .312 .398 .587
Since 2016vs Right .899 1614 267 65 225 57 .307 .374 .526
2018vs Left 1.207 155 40 9 26 13 .368 .471 .736
2018vs Right 1.037 459 89 23 54 17 .339 .427 .610
2017vs Left .928 148 22 5 23 9 .306 .412 .516
2017vs Right .771 564 79 19 79 17 .254 .326 .444
2016vs Left .814 139 23 8 21 3 .264 .302 .512
2016vs Right .917 591 99 23 92 23 .331 .377 .540
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .942 988 177 38 153 38 .323 .389 .554
Since 2016Away .894 1068 175 49 142 44 .293 .370 .524
2018Home 1.118 284 71 13 41 15 .364 .461 .657
2018Away 1.045 330 58 19 39 15 .331 .418 .627
2017Home .794 349 40 8 45 13 .279 .358 .436
2017Away .810 363 61 16 57 13 .251 .331 .480
2016Home .948 355 66 17 67 10 .335 .361 .588
2016Away .846 375 56 14 46 16 .301 .365 .481
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Stat Review
How does Mookie Betts compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After narrowly missing a 30-homer, 30-steal season in 2016, Betts made for an easy first-round selection heading into his age-24 campaign. Though he again filled out the counting-stats categories nicely, Betts’ 54-point downturn in batting average rendered him a disappointment relative to what many had forecasted. A .268 BABIP partially fueled by a decline in line-drive rate was the main culprit, as Betts’ batted-ball profile otherwise displayed no significant differences from his runner-up MVP season. If the right fielder is able to curb his popouts to some degree, he could notice a swift recovery in average, given that his exceptional speed has routinely allowed him to submit BABIPs above .300 throughout his pro career. Betts’ smallish frame makes it less certain that he’ll reach 30 home runs again, but even in a somewhat down year, he remained a plus power source. Another season of five-category excellence likely awaits Betts, who may only come at a slight discount on draft day with few likely to downgrade him much for the dip in average last year.
The 24-year-old with the slight frame slashed .318/.363/.534/.897 last season -- all career highs -- and cleared the 30-homer mark for the first time in his career. He finished four steals shy of being a 30-30 player, a mark he's likely to threaten in 2017. Betts collected many accolades as a result -- second in the MVP voting, a first-time All-Star, a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger. The forecasts for Betts had him hitting for power, but 31 homers was not in the tarot cards. Unlike his previous season, there were no down periods; Betts hit .266 in April and warmed up as the weather did, hitting .368 in July and .378 in August. It was during those warm-weather months that manager John Farrell dropped him from leadoff to third and fourth in the order, where his bat drove in 39 runs in 48 games. The Red Sox will miss David Ortiz, but Betts has emerged as an unlikely middle-of-the-order presence.
Former Boston general manager Ben Cherington made some roster additions that cost him his job, but his best personnel move is the one he never made. Amid pressure to trade Betts for Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, Cherington held his ground and it paid off for Boston. Betts has become one of the more dynamic players in MLB. In mid-June, Betts was hitting .234 with a .659 OPS. From that point on, he hit .329 with a .925 OPS. Betts evolved as a dangerous leadoff hitter who added a power element to his game, finishing third on the team with 18 homers and third with 77 RBI. The 22-year-old’s added power was the result of a change in approach that had him swinging at more pitches, though that cost him some on-base ability (.341 OBP). Betts has an elite power/speed combo with good defense at a premium position. He will continue to hit leadoff and may move to right field if Jackie Bradley remains with the team.
Betts appeared at three levels in 2014, eventually finishing the season as a regular outfielder in Boston. He had two stints in Boston and it looked like he wasn't ready for the show in each. It appeared the Red Sox may have rushed him, particularly defensively as Betts had little on-the-job training after moving from second base to outfield. There's still some work to do in the field, but the offense he showed at every level of the minor leagues eventually played at the major league level. Betts hit .317/.388/.462 (.849 OPS) in 116 plate appearances in September. Betts is probably the best option on the team to hit leadoff, a spot of trouble for the Red Sox last season until Brock Holt stabilized it. Look for Betts to get a ton of work in the outfield in spring training to the point where Boston feels comfortable taking him north to play on the grass at Fenway Park.
Betts, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011, was the organization's breakout prospect in 2013. He began the year at Low-A Greenville, initially struggled but maintained a good plate approach and kept his on-base percentage up. He eventually found his groove and had a 19-game hitting streak as well as a 33-game on-base streak. Betts hit 15 homers, had 81 walks and stole 38 bases in stops at Greenville and High-A Salem. With a good swing and the ability to work counts it's easy to see why the Red Sox like him. With Dustin Pedroia presumably the second baseman in Boston for years to come, Betts may eventually switch positions -- he played shortstop in high school. But that decision won't be made until later. The Red Sox like to challenge their prospects, so we might see Betts begin the season against older competition at Double-A Portland.
Betts, a fifth-round draft pick out of high school in 2011, went professional after committing to play for the University of Tennessee. He's an athletic infielder with an ability to impact games with his legs. He stole 20 bags in 71 games for Short-Season Lowell in 2012. Betts has a nice swing that should produce line drives as he learns to manage the strike zone and improve his pitch recognition. He projects very little power potential, but could develop as a gap-to-gap hitter. Presently, Betts gets his bat on the ball, but it's not always solid contact. He'll be pressed to improve his good-contact rate in his first year of full-season ball at Low-A Greenville.
More Fantasy News
Making spring debut
OFBoston Red Sox
February 27, 2019
Betts will start in right field and bat second in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles, Christopher Smith of reports.
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Avoids arbitration with Red Sox
OFBoston Red Sox
January 11, 2019
Betts signed a one-year, $20 million contract with the Red Sox on Friday to avoid arbitration, Ben Nicholson-Smith of reports.
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Moving to second in order
OFBoston Red Sox
December 11, 2018
Manager Alex Cora said Betts will hit second in 2019, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
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Named AL MVP
OFBoston Red Sox
November 15, 2018
Betts was named the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player on Thursday.
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Out of Saturday's lineup
OFBoston Red Sox
September 29, 2018
Betts is not in the lineup against the Yankees on Saturday, Chris Cotillo of reports.
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