If All-Star rosters were based on final season results rather than the accomplishments of the first few months then Mookie Betts would probably have been on the team last year.
At the age of 22, Betts produced a stellar first full season in the big leagues, hitting .291 with 18 home runs and 77 RBI. He ranked 8th among AL outfielders in OPS and 4th with a 6.0 WAR. The converted infielder also proved to be more than capable patrolling the outfield.
Betts is a five-tool player with an enticing blend of power and speed. His 18 homers were more than any AL position player that swiped at least 21 bases last season. Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was the league’s only 20-2o player last year, with 35 homers and 20 steals, but Betts has a strong chance of joining that club this year.
Last year the AL squad carried seven outfielders, which doesn’t include Nelson Cruz, who was voted in as a DH. The pool of outfielders got even deeper when Justin Upton signed with the Detroit Tigers and free agent Yoenis Cespedes could potentially return to the AL. Betts is one of several promising young outfielders vying to crash the party, so the competition for a limited number of outfield spots will be fierce.
Betts is a blossoming star that can already make a case for being the best all-around position player on the Red Sox roster, so if you were willing to wager on which Red Sox player will make their All-Star debut this year, place your bets on Mookie.