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

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Jul 4, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts (50) hits an rbi double during the eighth inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

#2 – The R.B.I. Machine

Here, the numbers say it all.

Betts has 41 RBIs, putting him just behind Trout (44). Betts is also third for the home run lead among his peers with nine home runs, although he is far behind Trout (21) and just behind Adam Jones (10).

The man produces; however, the real truth is in what the RBIs meant to the team. While Trout and Jones have a number of players surrounding them who also produce, Betts has had to do it alone in close games on many nights, this season.

With the game late and close with runners in scoring position, Betts has five RBIs which have been the difference in their victories.

Betts also leads the Red Sox with 29 RBIs in games won by the team, a group with big-name hitters like David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Mike Napoli. Jones has 26 RBIs in the same situation, placing him third behind Chris ‘Crush’ Davis (35) and Manny Machado (28) on the Baltimore Orioles. Trout has 27 RBIs, placing him third behind Albert Pujols (39) and Kole Calhoun (31). The Orioles have five players and the Angels have six players with 19 or more RBIs in this game situation. The Red Sox have four. Of these sets of players, the Orioles combine for 134 RBIs, the Angels combine for 158 RBIs, and the Red Sox combine for just 96 runs.

If Betts doesn’t show up to play, the chances that the team wins the game is much lower than if Jones or Trout take the night off for their respective teams. With the game on the line, Betts has come through for his team, even when they haven’t come through for him by getting on base enough times. And remember this: Betts has spent most of the season in the leadoff spot. Trout and Jones almost always hit in the three-spot in their lineups. That positioning means Betts often has less opportunity to drive runners home, while the other two players are helped by their spots to have more potential baserunners in front of them every game. Betts is doing more with less.

The fact is that Mookie equals wins. Shouldn’t production be important to the American League team if they want to win home-field advantage in the World Series?