Will Mookie begin to reach superstar status this year?
Mookie Betts arrived on the professional scene with a bang. Blasting through the minor leagues quickly and hitting everything that came his way. With the Red Sox struggling in nearly every facet of the game last season, they had Betts playing all outfield positions to help him to the big club a lot quicker. Obviously that worked. He essentially made it and never turned back. He hit a very respectable .291 with 5 homeruns in just 51 games and provided the Red Sox and their nation with the promise of a potential superstar in the making.
2015 spring training rolls around and Betts does not miss a beat. Hitting a scorching .471for all of spring and that carried into the beginning of the regular season. But since then he has been awfully quiet. He now sports an average under .200 and is striking out more then usual. While it looks to be, at least from my point of view that he's still staying calm and collective at the dish, it seems as if he may be pressing a bit. Trying to do a little too much. He still is fraying walks and is still able of swiping a bag in the process. He hasn't looked too push the ball to right field, which would really open up the whole diamond for himself. He hasn't looked too hot overall. This me too my next question:
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Did he have too much success too early?
And it's very possible he has and one I hope I'm wrong about. This has the potential to be a Jackie Bradley Jr. situation, but I'm going to tell you why is not.
Bradley was not nearly as disciplined at the plate as Betts has been in their short careers. And while in the Minor Leagues, pitchers try to get away with throwing heat passed you, that doesn't happen up with the big boys. Players need to learn that they can see a breaking ball at any time, in any count, which is why at times you see younger players struggle for a period, because they are so used to see fastball after fastball. The reason I think that this situation is different then Bradley Jr. is because Betts has shown that he can adjust to off speed pitches. He has had some hard luck with line drive outs and hard hit ground balls. Eventually these will start hitting some holes, he will start hitting some gaps and using that speed to create problems on the base paths.
This kid still has plenty of raw talent and is still extremely young. He has shown a willingness to do what it takes to help this team (hence the move to the outfield from second base). Within time I believe he will find his niche, hit some gaps, start going 2-4, 3-4, 2-5, 3-5, and driving that batting average up. He's got plus speed so even dropping a bunt down to get on base can get him going at any point as well.
To me, it can't get any worse for this kid. I still see him hitting damn near .300 this season, even with the slower start. He will be a huge contributor to this team in their quest for October baseball. Mookie is the next big superstar in Beantown.