Mookie Betts Was Robbed of MVP

Most of the baseball world saw the AL Cy Young decision Wednesday as a real head-scratcher. In fact, it’s been a while since America has been content with any kind of election results. On Thursday, Major League Baseball gave them something to be very mad about. For the second time in his career, Mike Trout was named AL MVP, but did he deserve it?

This news really floored me. This surprised me because for the first time that I remember, MVP an MVP was decided because of a reputation, not by statistics or value. Mookie Betts took the baseball world by storm in 2016, but his remarkable season was not enough. Mike Trout clearly won this award based on his reputation, because his numbers certainly did not.

Betts’ MVP Pedigree

As we look at the major offensive categories, Betts stands above Trout in all of them. Trout hit a formidable .315 on the season but Betts’ was .318, with 41 more hits. Trout, however, is seen as more of a power hitter. He had 29 homers this season with 100 RBI. Surely, voters must’ve valued his power over Betts’, right? How? Betts hit 31 homers with 113 RBI, with half the season batting in the leadoff spot. Betts also had the edge in doubles, 42-32. Even in the best part of Trout’s game he was not as good as Betts.

Clearly, Betts was more valuable at the plate. That being said, let’s look at the other facets of the game. Trout had the slight edge in stolen bases, but Betts had 57 more total bases and led the league with 359. Also, Betts not only won the Gold Glove for right field, but was voted the best defender in the American League. Trout, on the other hand, did not win a Gold Glove this year. So while Betts was the best defensive player in the entire league, Trout wasn’t even top three.

So I ask, where is Trout more valuable? All-Star votes? Endorsements? Whatever it is, it’s not on the field clearly. Say all you want about WAR (wins above replacement), but regular wins have to pull some weight too. The Red Sox won 19 more games than the dismal Angels this season. On top of that, Betts did all this in playing in one less game than Trout, playing in the best division in baseball, and winning that division. Mike Trout may be your American League MVP, but to that I ask: how do you measure value?

The Travis Shaw Situation

The buzz around Yoan Moncada reached a fever pitch this week as he was called up to the Red Sox on Thursday. Moncada was the #1 prospect in all of baseball and, like Andrew Benintendi, skipped AAA. Moncada signed as a second baseman, but has had to change to third base to fill the Red Sox needs. So where does that leave Travis Shaw?

Shaw was one of the hottest stories for the Red Sox coming into the season, replacing ShawPablo Sandoval in the starting lineup. Shaw was exactly what Sox fans were looking for. Sandoval showed up way out of shape and after a tough 2015 season, fans were certainly writing him off. Shaw, on the other hand, was never a top prospect and took the job away from Sandoval with an impressive spring training.

Shaw’s 2016 Season

To begin the 2016 season, Shaw raised a lot of eyebrows around New England and the baseball world. In April, he was scorching the ball, hitting .314 with 27 hits and 15 RBI. The formidable numbers did not cease there as he hit five homers in May and brought his RBI total to 35. His power surge even earned him the nickname “The Mayor of Ding Dong City.” Shaw was anything but an easy out in the bottom half of the order, and was also sure-handed at the hot corner.

After that, the numbers have steadily dwindled. He hit just .214 in June and brought his average all the way down to .269 before the All-Star break. August was the low point for Shaw, as he hit an abysmal .167 with 12 hits and six RBI all month. In fact, since the All-Star break, shaw has hit just .205 with six homers and 18 RBI.

Moncada’s season has been quite the opposite of Shaw’s. In two different minor leagues this season, Moncada has done nothing but produce. He hit .294 with 15 homers and 52 extra-base hits. The 21-year old Cuban also stole 45 bases with a .918 OPS and 207 total bases. Moncada has even drawn comparisons to Mike Trout and Bo Jackson for his athleticism and instincts.

Now that we’ve actually seen Moncada play in real games, it is easy to see he was a better investment than fellow Cuban Rusney Castillo. It seems everything Moncada has done, he’s done it well. With that, the reign of “The Mayor” may soon end in Boston.

Scout Says Yoan Moncada is Close to Mike Trout

We all know what Mike Trout can do. He is one of the most complete players in baseball right now, and the Red Sox might have the next player who can come close to him in Yoan Moncada, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan quoted one scout as saying in his All-Minor League team article.

So, yeah. Not a bad comparison to draw, and one that should get Red Sox fans excited.Yoan Moncada He got off to a slow start, but picked it up in the last 56 games with the Greenville Drive, the Red Sox Single-A affiliate. He slashed .310/.415/.500 with 45 stolen bases in 48 attempts, according to Jeff Passan, but on the flip side, he also committed 23 errors at second base, including 3 in a playoff game over the weekend.

His defense right now is a concern, but Yoan Moncada is only 20 years old, meaning there’s still plenty of time to fix that part of his game. One thing is clear, I think: Once he does clean up that area, he’ll be on the fast track to be a great major league player. Will he be as good as Mike Trout, as the one scout told Jeff Passan? Maybe not, but if he’s in that ballpark, I think Red Sox fans will be happy. Mike Trout is a special player, and if Moncada becomes even close to Trout, that’s fine with me.

Right now, there’s no reason to rush Yoan Moncada up to the big leagues. Personally, I would rather see him take an extra year or so and come up a more complete player, as opposed to him rushing up before he’s ready. There’s no doubting his talent, but I’d rather him work out all of the kinks in his game before he sees any significant action with the big-league Red Sox. Don’t get me wrong, if Jeff Passan is right, then he should be exciting to watch, but right now, he needs to work through the holes in his game, as I mentioned, before he’s ready. But, at least it’s something to get excited about for the future, right?

Brock Holt Makes Impact At All-Star Game

This year’s Mid-Summer Classic ended with yet another win for the American League.  The game was played at the Great American Ballpark in Cincincatti.  The Boston Red Sox only had one representative, Brock Holt, and he did not disappoint for the Sox.

Coming into the game, nobody was really sure about what type of role Holt would have. Brock Holt He was not seen until the seventh inning when he was subbed in to replace Mike Trout as a pinch-runner.  But right when he came in, he made an immediate positive impact.

Holt stole second base on a breaking ball thrown by pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, after seeing the previous pitch put in the dirt.  He then scored on a double hit by Manny Machado.  This run gave the American League another insurance run which helped them to a 6-3 win over the National League.

After being put into the game, Holt stayed in and played three innings in left field.  In his one at-bat, he struck out against the Cincinatti Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

For Holt, this was his first All-Star selection.  As Red Sox fans, we’re all hoping that it is just the first of many.  He may be the most versatile player in the Major League’s, and that showed as he was the first player in history to be selected to the All-Star team who had started at seven positions, every one other than pitcher and catcher.

The Red Sox are starting the second-half of the season in last place in the A.L. East.  Toward the end of the first half, they were starting to turn things around before dropping two of three at Fenway Park to their rival the New York Yankees.  With the American League winning the All-Star Game, this means their World Series representative will have home field advantage.  Let’s hope that Holt’s contributions can help turn the Sox season around and maybe we can see game one of the World Series being played at Fenway.

Mookie Betts Part of Future Success for Boston Red Sox

Mookie BettsWhether it is via a trade or playing in the outfield, Mookie Betts is poised to be part of the success of the Boston Red Sox over the offseason and moving forward.

The 21-year-old has held his own this season with a .285 average to go along with 14 extra-base hits, including eight doubles an five home runs, in 165 at-bats. He has also stolen six bases in nine attempts. Sure, he has had some stretches in which he has trouble with patience at the plate, but he has kept composure in a lost season for the Red Sox.

In the field, he has shown that changing positions has not affected him as he has made some great reads in center while also playing eight somewhat successful games at second. He has just two errors combined in 45 games (44 started) this season. While he does not have a long-term spot at second, the Red Sox have a chance this offseason to make sure he does have a spot either on this team or as a part of a big picture deal in a trade for a front-line starter or a power bat.

Betts has shown versatility, which benefits the Red Sox and other teams. If injuries occur, then he could slip right in for any outfield spot while also sliding into second in a pinch.

Not only that, but he has a quality combination of speed and power that has been the norm for recent players success. Players like Andrew McCuthchen, Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig and even Carlos Gomez all have shown to have power and speed in their repertoires. However, Betts might not be as powerful or fast as any of these players. He might not pan out and could be a one-and-done player, but taking a chance on him might be the best option for the Red Sox mobing forward.

If the Red Sox decide to sell high on the prospect, then they need to get something that improves this team now. It could be Giancarlo Stanton or even a Chris Sale, but, whatever the Red Sox decide to deal for this offseason, Betts is a candidate to be in the deals.

Betts has shown that he can play at a high level and that can benefit the Red Sox in multiple ways. But I say trade him before he fizzles out.

Should Jackie Bradley Jr. Win A Gold Glove?

jbjNot exactly known for his offense, Jackie Bradley Jr. always manages to turn some heads with his spectacular defense. Right now Bradley is struggling at the plate, but as time progresses, he will get better. Despite having a dismal .632 OPS in 89 games for Boston, Bradley has yet to boot a ball on defense. Playing a total of 769 2/3 innings in the field, he is boasting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Keep in mind, roughly 95% of those innings have came in center field, hands down the toughest position to play in the outfield. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) ranks sixth among all defenders in baseball, despite infield positions getting much more credit in saber metrics than outfield positions historically speaking.
air jordan 15
Fielding is a crucial component of winning a Gold Glove award which Bradley does well, but arm strength is another part of defense where Bradley excels. As an outfielder, Bradley ranks second for assists with 11. Out of center fielders, Bradley is the leader by far. Leonys Martin, who ranks second in outfield assists, has five less than Bradley. Bradley also leads all center fielders in double plays turned with six, beating Martin out by three again.

Statistically speaking, Jackie Bradley Jr. has a strong throwing arm, but one must see it to believe it. To make it even more obvious that he has one of the best arms in the game, he threw a ball from essentially home plate at Fenway Park to the center field bleachers, which stood nearly 400 feet away and 17 feet high.
nike air jordan retro 4
Of course, if that is not enough evidence that Bradley has a cannon, then there is one more fact worth sharing—over six years ago, in 2008 when he was in high school, he was clocked at 101 MPH throwing from the outfield by Perfect Game. Not many Major League pitchers can even throw 100 MPH, so it is truly amazing that Bradley can and could back when he was in high school.

With all of the talent in Major League Baseball, Jackie Bradley Jr. tops them all defensively in the outfield. Many view Mike Trout as a premium defender, but he is nothing compared to Bradley. The “Millville Meteor”,as Trout is called, is the better player all-around of the two, but defensively it is clear Bradley, who is nicknamed “JBJ”, has the upper hand.
nike zoom kobe 1
When Major League Baseball gives out awards in November, do not be surprised when Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the Gold Glove award.