Boston Red Sox: What’s wrong with Mookie Betts?
As the Boston Red Sox are locked in a wire-to-wire pennant race with the much-hated New York Yankees, one has to wonder: what’s wrong with Mookie Betts?
Boston’s young star Mookie Betts continues to lack the form he once had in 2016; the form that made him a runner-up in the MVP race last year. Although he still flashes the brilliant glove and speed that makes him one of the most dynamic players in baseball, his batting average and power numbers have dipped to frightening lows compared to last year’s campaign.
First a quick look at his stat line from 2016 compared to 2017.
Although there are still 28 games left in the season, Mookie is not gonna come close to the numbers he had last season. With David Ortiz retiring at the end of last season, one had to temper their expectation of Betts, since a huge part of the line-up was lost. However, Mookie just doesn’t seem to be the same hitter he was at the plate last season. Balls he would’ve crushed out of the ballpark he’s now taking for called strikes this season. It makes you wonder if Mookie is being too patient at the plate, waiting for “his pitch” far too often.
Mookie isn’t the only Red Sox slugger struggling in the line-up, as Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon have all had dismal seasons at the dish.
Is Mookie putting more pressure on himself this season to be the “hero?” In years past, Ortiz played the role of hero in so many clutch moments. Maybe Mookie has taken it upon himself to fill the void causing himself to be more complacent at the plate.
With that being said, it comes with the territory when you gain all the accolades of being a Gold Glove outfielder and runner-up in the MVP race. Expectations are gonna be through the roof when you compete at such a high level.
We are left to wonder: was 2016 a fluke? Is Mookie not as great as everyone thought he was? Or is this just a down season for Mookie? I’m hoping it’s the latter. Mookie is a great player who approaches the game with solid professionalism. If anyone is feeling the struggle it’s Mookie. As the great Professional Wrestler Ric Flair once said, “To be the man, you have to beat the man,” and in this case, the only man Mookie has to beat is himself.
“I’ve got ballz!”