Big week for newly named All-Star Game starter, Mookie Betts
Via Boston Herald
A two-homer game. A three-hit game. A three-run game. String together days like that, and it’s pretty easy to get noticed. Last week, Mookie Betts was impossible to ignore.
And Major League Baseball showed it with two announcements yesterday.
First, MLB announced Betts was named American League Player of the Week after he hit .483 with three homers, three stolen bases, six walks and 11 RBI during the Red Sox’ strong finish to June and even better start to July.
Betts played in all seven games last week — six of them wins — and had multiple hits in five of them. He capped the week with a true masterpiece Sunday, going 4-for-6 with two home runs while becoming the first Red Sox player to have eight RBI out of the leadoff spot since RBI became an official stat in 1920.
“If you want him to heat up more than (Sunday), you’re asking for a lot,” Xander Bogaerts said. “But if he can get half of that, four RBI every day, we’ll be good.”
Later in the evening, MLB decided Betts will start next week’s All-Star Game for injured Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.
What has been most impressive about Betts?
“Everything,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Arguably he might be the best defensive right fielder in the game, not just in the American League, and he’s shown not only to be a consistent player, but he gets on these hot streaks where seemingly there’s a lot of damage to the swing.
“(Sunday) is obviously a very big day, but the one thing that has always stood out about Mookie’s approach to the game is not only a genuine humbleness, but an aptitude that is — from my recollection, players that I’ve been around — second to none. He’s a smart kid. He’s not afraid to expose himself in terms of not knowing everything and will ask great questions. But the aptitude to apply it quickly. That’s what sets him apart.”
Betts now has an .874 OPS with 27 doubles, the most in the AL. His offensive production has nearly caught up to his near-MVP pace from last season, and he leads all of baseball with 17 Defensive Runs Saved according to FanGraphs.
He currently is fourth in the American League with a 3.4 WAR.
“He’ll be right where he was last year, maybe better,” Bogaerts said. “That’s the type of guy he is, the type of talent he has. He can put the team on his back and just (carry) us to the playoffs.”