Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mookie Betts is the Best Right Fielder in Baseball

Here's the crazy part of this post. I wanted to write it yesterday, for obvious reasons. But, couldn't get the time to. But, I figured it would still be relevant if I wrote it a day or two later.

Then Mookie goes out and hits two more home runs in the first two innings of the very next game!

Of course, you know the specifics. Five home runs in his last two games. A diving catch that would make Jackie Bradley Jr jealous. Base running excellence. He's been doing everything.

Not bad for a player once called the most blocked guy in baseball. Which I suppose is a lesson. Sure, it may look bleak if you're a middle infielder in the Red Sox organization, with Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts taking your spot. But, if you can play you'll never be blocked. You'll force the team to find you a spot. Reminds me of when someone asked Nomar's minor league manager if he could play a position other than shortstop. After all, the Sox already had John Valentin. The manager's response? "I don't know who you've got playing short up there, but I'd suggest seeing if he can play somewhere else." (or something like that.) The good ones make you make room.

And Mookie is one of the good ones. He has this incredible power for someone of his size. Reminds me a bit of Hank Aaron. (Now, wait, hear me out.) Arron wasn't a huge guy. Maybe huge for his day, but he was just 6', 190 or so. But, he was known for his incredibly strong wrists. (Some have speculated it was because he held his hands upside down on the bat when he hit...left hand on top...until he was at a very high level.) You know who else I bet have some pretty strong wrists? Professional bowlers. Is there a connection between Mookie's bowling prowess and his hidden power stroke? I have no idea. But, I bet it's more likely than it being because of his ability to solve a Rubik's Cube.

Whatever the reason, Mookie is a lot of fun to watch. at the top of the order. Not only is he setting the table for the hitters behind him, like a good lead off guy should, but he's doing some clearing of his own. The hitters at the bottom of the order are scoring more runs because Mookie's driving them in. It's creating a wonderful turnover point in the order, and really adds to its depth.

It also makes it a whole lot of fun to watch.

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