Today marks a dramatic shift in my attitude towards Mookie Betts. If you haven’t read my busts list or my “Am I Unfair to Mookie Betts” piece here , then you will know I have harbored some doubts about whether he was a first rounder. Well, I am here to wave the white flag and jump on board with the rest of the fantasy community. Mookie Betts is a first round player.
The J.D. Martinez signing certainly put my swing in opinion over the top, but I was faltering even before the Red Sox inked Martinez earlier today. Martinez adds that thump in the lineup left void since David Ortiz retired. Betts can easily repeat his 100 runs scored with J.D in the middle of that lineup. The stats were always there, as I will share with you in a moment, I just convinced myself that I could recreate Betts further down the line with someone like Yelich or Margot. Both of these players have 20/20 potential, however, Margot won’t have close to 100 RBI in that San Diego lineup and Yelich, while good at everything, can’t match Mookie’s power. Betts is a monster all his own and the other players are simply cheaper imitations that cannot match up to what Betts has done over the last few seasons.
Mookie Betts biggest season came back in 2016, where he hit .318 with 31 bombs and 26 stolen bases. He also threw in 122 runs and 113 RBI that year. This was at the young age of 23. His age 24 season was his “down year” even though he did get over the 100 RBI and runs scored mark to go with 26 stolen bases and 24 home runs. The only reason it was a “down” year was his home run total was lower and his average dropped to .264. Make no mistake though, Mookie Betts is a .300 hitter. Betts had a .322 BABIP in 2016, while only managing a .268 BABIP in 2017. His career BABIP is .303 and he consistently maintained a mid .300s BABIP in the minors. He also walked 10.8% of the time last year, marking his best walk percentage in his young career. His walk percentage almost matched his meager 11.1% K-rate.
The bottom line? I was wrong about Mookie Betts. He is a first-round fantasy stud and should easily go in the top 8. All the signs were there that he was an elite player, I just got caught up in trying to recreate him in later rounds.
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