Five Reasons Why Red Sox Mookie Betts Is An All-Star

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#5 – Good Offense Comes From Great Defense

The native of Tennessee is truly something to see when he’s in the field. He makes so many amazing plays on defense, no matter his position, that he’s worth the price of admission before he even holds a bat.

Last season, the human highlight reel was doing it from right field, center field, and even some second base when four-time All-Star Dustin Pedroia was injured. Not bad for Mookie, considering he was only 21 years old at the time. Now a year older, he’s earned the full-time job as the Red Sox center fielder, and what a display that he’s shown this season.

The numbers don’t even do it justice, here. Betts’ fielding percentage is .995 with six assists for outs, some at home plate. That effort puts him third in the entire American League for all players having played center field this season, with only Leonys Martin (10) and Kevin Kiermaier (7) having more assists.

Those numbers are great on their own, except that they don’t take into account the amount of times that Red Sox Nation and Boston’s pitching staff have roared with excitement over one of Mookie’s tremendous, logic-defying catches. Whether crashing into walls or leaping over them, the ball seems to find his glove when other players would have, once thought justifiably, given up on the hit. Betts has pulled guaranteed home runs away from batters, ran down game-winning doubles in the gaps, and has soared through the air to catch what seemed to be looping singles that nobody would come near.

It seems like every night one of these moments in the field is captured on television, YouTube, Vine, Twitter, Facebook, and other media devices for millions of baseball fans, regardless of team loyalty, to enjoy. When you play for Boston in Yankee Stadium and, yet, you can make New York Yankees fans stand up and applaud your catch, you are a miracle worker. If the greatest and most ancient rivalry in all of sports cannot stifle Mookie-Mania, what else could?

If that’s the case, do we even need four more reasons to justify putting Mookie Betts on this All-Star team?