Markus “Mookie” Betts was sub-planted into center field to replace the struggling Jackie Bradley Jr. Mookie is the next hot prospect in the Boston Red Sox system, currently ranked number one overall by Sox Prospects and MLB.com alike. Is Mookie primed for success or aligned for failure like JBJ? Betts comes with a huge upside and great statistics in the minors that should hopefully translate to a great talent at the major league level, but a big emphasis on “hopefully”.
Betts has made a fast rise through the minor league levels, plowing through AA and AAA to the Majors within the same 2014 calendar year. Mookie has quick, strong hands, advanced approached at the plate, and is not overly aggressive. A quick, compact, level swing allows him to consistently make solid contact to all fields. More importantly, Mookie has not struck out more than sixteen percent of his at bats at any professional level.
Mookie started his professional career at shortstop so he has plus hands, but his average arm strength resulted in an eventual shift to second base. After taking off in the system, it was evident that Mookie needed learn another position to avoid being blocked by Major League talent, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts. Betts quickly shifted to the outfield where he is still learning the ropes as evident by his questionable routes to the ball and indecisiveness fielding balls dropping in front of him. Considering Mookie is only 21 years old he has plenty of time to become familiar with the friendly confines of the Fenway outfield.
Mookie Betts quick rise through the system resembles that of recently demoted JBJ. So what is all the hoopla about Mookie when you consider Jackie Bradley’s minor league stats were similar?