By any measure, Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are most valuable
Via The Boston Globe
Mike Trout and Mookie Betts finished 1-2 in the American League MVP voting last season. Some would argue the award should have gone to Betts because he led the Red Sox to a division title while Trout’s Angels finished last.
So we asked the one person who has coached both of them — Gary DiSarcina. He coached Trout for three seasons on Mike Scioscia’s coaching staff and Betts this season as Boston’s bench coach.
“Obviously they both impact the game in the batters’ box,” DiSarcina said. “They can hit the ball out of the ballpark and change the momentum of the game. Their swings, body types, speed, it’s all different because they look different. One [Trout] is 230-240 pounds and Mookie is more 185-190. Their bat speed is the first thing that I can compare them to.”
Trout and Betts have a mutual admiration for one another.
Trout said of Betts: “He’s fun to watch. He’s one of the best in the game. He can do it all. I know how much they love him over there.”
And Betts on Trout: “He does it every year. He’s so consistent. He’s one of the greatest players in the game.”
The numbers were close last season. Trout hit .315 with 29 homers, 100 RBIs, 123 runs scored, and 30 steals and while Betts hit .318 with 31 homers, 113 RBIs, 122 runs scored, and 26 steals. Trout had a WAR of 10.5 and Betts 9.5. Trout had a .991 OPS and Betts .897.
“When those two guys get on base they change the way the defense thinks,” DiSarcina said. “What Mikey does really well is his ability to make adjustments from pitch to pitch in the batters’ box. He’s so good. Whether it’s getting his foot down or getting his hands in a better position, he does it pitch to pitch. Each game is separate and distinct. He’s very much down the middle. That’s such a strong characteristic. He doesn’t get high. He doesn’t get low. He never feels sorry for himself. He doesn’t come in and say ‘Why can’t I get a hit?’ He’s very matter of fact every day.
“Mookie fluctuates more emotionally than Mikey,” DiSarcina said.
DiSarcina said he didn’t realize how close their numbers were last season until he studied it right before the MVP vote. DiSarcina missed Betts when he managed Pawtucket, but had admired him from afar.
“There’s no doubt Mookie is going to get better and better,” DiSarcina said. “There’s nothing like playing another year, getting through 162. You learn about yourself and how to get better. Maybe he makes an adjustment with his weight training. He’s still under 25 years old. One thing I admire is he asks questions. He will come to you, ‘should I take 3-0, should I swing at the first pitch.”
While Trout’s body has gotten massive, DiSarcina wants Betts to settle with whatever comes natural.
“Mookie reminds me of Xander back in 2013,” DiSarcina said. “He was a skinny kid. Mookie is going to fill out as he gets older. Everyone does.”
Who’s the fastest?
“They’re just different,” DiSarcina said. “If Trout ran by you, you could hear the earth shake. When Mookie runs by you, it’s ‘whoosh.’ ’’
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