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.
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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.
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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.
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When Major League Baseball gives out awards in November, do not be surprised when Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the Gold Glove award.