March 11, 2016

All Eyes On Betts In 2016

ESPN's David Schoenfield calls Mookie Betts his "most intriguing player to watch in the AL East for 2016":
Red Sox players don't usually fly under the radar, but that seemed to be the case in 2015 with Betts, who quietly finished with a .291/.341/.479 batting line, 18 home runs, 42 doubles and 21 stolen bases. He also played solid defense in center field. And he did all that after a slow start that had him hitting .221 in the middle of May. So Betts already has a nice all-around game, but I think he can become a top-five MVP guy in 2016 for three reasons: (1) He's just 23, entering his second full season in the bigs; (2) I love his contact ability, as he ranked 26th in the majors in strikeout rate in 2015, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio should get better; (3) He has a swing tailor-made for Fenway, as he pulls the ball over and off the Green Monster.

Everyone seems to assume that Betts will move to right field this year while Jackie Bradley Jr. takes over in center, but that's not guaranteed. Betts averaged 2.68 putouts per nine innings in center last year compared with 2.45 for Bradley.
David Price is #5 on the list and Boston's new first baseman Hanley Ramirez is #10.

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