After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, infielder Mookie Betts was always touted to be something special. A four-sport star at Overton High School in Nashville, Tenn., Betts had exceptional athleticism that made him a desirable player in any big-league organization. However, no one expected the 5-foot-9 infielder to put up the statistical tear he has demonstrated in his three years within the Red Sox organization.
With the intangibles and athleticism that have brought him success in the minors, Betts is shaping out to be a major factor in the future for the Red Sox. Named the 2013 Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year after hitting .314 with 15 home runs and 38 stolen bases with both the Greenville Drive (A) and Salem Red Sox (A+), Betts is continuing his torrent offensive rampage with the Portland Sea Dogs (AA). In 20 games, Betts is hitting .407 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Expected to break into the big leagues by 2015, there are many aspects of Betts’ game that makes him a versatile player. First, his explosiveness in the batters box has been evident. Once he makes contact with the ball, Betts is able to run full throttle to first base at a blistering face rate, and can stretch simple base hits into doubles in an instant. His speed also accounts into his stolen base numbers, as Betts is able to get consistent jump and is rarely caught while attempting steals (he has only been caught stealing eight times in 77 attempts in his minor-league career).
His speed also contributes to his defensive flexibility, which will be a major factor when he eventually gets called up to the Red Sox. With Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli and Garin Cecchini expected to play substantial roles in the Red Sox infield, expect Betts to showcase his athletic versatility in the outfield. Although he plays as a second baseman now, Betts has the speed and the explosiveness to be a solid big-league outfielder once he makes his debut.
Through his impressive tear through the Red Sox farm system in the last three seasons, Betts is demonstrating his ability to become a major contributor to the Red Sox. With unmatched explosiveness and flexibility, Betts has the potential to become a major role player at any position with the Red Sox, making him a cherished treasure that can be a major piece of the future.