2014 Red Sox awards roundtable: Mookie Betts takes top rookie honors


The nature of the 2014 Red Sox season, with the departures of Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew from last year’s team, and eventually Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront and Mike Carp among others, meant fans got a look at plenty of rookies. Brock Holt and Mookie Betts were the standouts, but Betts’ intriguing potential and the fact he backed it up made him the consensus choice among our writers as the best of the crop.

Who was the 2014 Red Sox Rookie of the Year?

Conor Duffy: Mookie Betts. He was only around for 52 games, but he only needed that many to prove himself as one of the most promising youngsters in the Red Sox organization. Betts slashed .291/.368/.444 with five home runs and seven stolen bases, showing an electrifying blend of tools that should place him at the top of the lineup for years to come. In addition to his stellar raw athleticism and surprising power, Betts also sported a phenomenal contact rate that should limit the streakiness that many young players demonstrate and keep Betts performing at a high level for the Red Sox. It’s tough to see where he fits into a crowded 2015 outfield, but considering his incredible talent, the Red Sox will find a place for him.

Ryan Hathaway: Mookie Betts. Despite a limited sample size, I think there’s only be one clear choice. Brock Holt faded, Jackie Bradley failed miserably at the plate, Rubby De La Rosa faltered, and Allen Webster spent far too long getting going. The only competitor I can think of is Xander Bogaerts. He played a full year, and although he was miserable at his worst, I would argue that him at his best (May), surpassed Mookie. Consistency is a critical element in baseball, and despite the strong chance Bogaerts outperforms Betts in the future, for now, everything’s coming up Mookie. An award well deserved; there was a noticeable shift in team morale after his call up, and that is arguably more notable than any contribution he made on the field.

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Sean Sylver: Mookie Betts. We’ve been hearing about this guy for a couple of years. The same can be said for Xander Bogaerts, and while the shortstop underwhelmed, Betts delivered. It’s pretty clear where his ceiling is, but just the fact that he came as advertised – selective at the plate with a little bit of pop, fast, and willing to work to improve his game – was refreshing in a year when so many things went wrong.

Drew Peabody: Brock Holt. Holt is Red Sox Rookie of the Year because he ably filled so many roles this season. He started at least seven games at every position other than pitcher and catcher. A September concussion prematurely ended his season, and he slowed down in the second half (.327/.371/.463 first half vs. .219/.278/.271 second half) but he held down the leadoff position in the batting order for 93 games. Holt fielded each position easily, turning in spectacular plays at multiple spots. Holt also made himself a factor for the team going forward due to his versatility. Where he ends up next year is anyone’s guess, whether it is in a trade or fulfilling the same role he did this year. Could he be starting at third base for the Red Sox in 2015?

Joe Meehan: Mookie Betts. Brock Holt might be a popular pick, but I’m still going with Betts. There’s no questioning the impact Holt had upon his arrival in Boston. He brought life to a Sox lineup that desperately needed an impact bat. But he cooled off significantly late in the season and Mookie Fever struck. In a short amount of time, Betts was arguably the only rookie who truly earned a spot in next year’s lineup. So in a year where no rookie stood out statistically, that’s enough for him to earn my ROY award.

Rick McNair: Mookie Betts. Brock Holt would be a nice choice but Holt had previous experience with the Pirates and with Boston, so it is on to Betts. Betts has the tools to be a remarkable player. His contact numbers are excellent, as is his speed, versatility and OBP. Betts also demonstrated a quality that was missing with Jackie Bradley and Xander Bogaerts – no fishing expeditions for balls up and away. Betts is a future All Star.