Mookie Madness finally reached the Major Leagues last night as Mookie Betts was in the Red Sox’ dugout in a 2-1 win over the Yankees. However, it’s tonight that will really be the start of what is hopefully a stellar career as Betts is slated to make his Major League debut on a big stage: Sunday Night Baseball against the New York Yankees.
Betts, who has familiarized himself with the outfield after starting his professional career in the middle infield, is expected to start in right field as the Red Sox face Yankees’ starter Chase Whitley (3-1, 4.07 ERA). And while Betts is relatively inexperienced in the outfield, all sources to point to him developing into a plus option out there. He has excellent speed as well as a natural knack for the game with tremendous instincts that should give the Red Sox another top notch defensive outfielder.
Offensively, if Betts can do close to what he has done throughout the Minor Leagues, there will be no problems for the 21-year old. After breaking out onto the scene in 2013, Betts topped off that performance with an even better start to his 2014 season as he slashed .355/.443/.551 with a 35:20 BB:K ratio and 22 stolen bases in 54 games with the Portland Sea Dogs. Following a promotion to Triple-A, Betts was similarly impressive as he slashed .322/.425/.444 with a 16:13 BB:K ratio in just 22 games.
The Red Sox are hoping Betts can provide a spark and perhaps help them right the ship on what’s been a rough season. At the very least, however, he can hopefully get some of his lumps out of the way and start 2015 as a regular contributor. Aside from Xander Bogaerts, Betts is one of the most exciting Red Sox prospects in a long time and I’m excited about the start of his career.