Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has been named as the AL Player of the Month for July.
We already knew that Mookie Betts has been one of the league’s elite outfielders this season, but nobody in the American League had a better month than he did.
The right fielder for the Boston Red Sox has been on a tear lately and Major League Baseball has noticed, naming Betts the AL Player of the Month for July. He becomes the second Red Sox outfielder to win the award this season, joining teammate Jackie Bradley, who won the award in May on the heels of a 29-game hit streak.
Betts didn’t have a hitting streak of quite that magnitude, but he still had a scorching month at the plate. The 23-year old hit .386/.415/.653 with five home runs, five steals and 15 RBI out of the lead-off spot. Betts racked up an impressive 10 multi-hit games in July, including five where he collected three hits.
Among AL hitters with a minimum of 75 plate appearances in July, Betts ranked second in batting average, slugging and OPS. He was also first in doubles with 10 and extra-base hits with 16.
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As great as Betts was at the plate, he may have been even better in the field. He has adjusted remarkably well to playing in Fenway Park’s quirky right field in his first season manning the position full-time. Betts had 11 defensive runs saved in July to lead the majors by a comfortable margin. He entered the month with only 4 defensive runs all season, but the 15 that he has now ties him for fifth in the majors and first among right fielders.
His recent productivity on both sides of the game has boosted his value to 5.5 WAR, which currently ranks 4th among major league hitters and trails only Mike Trout (6.8 WAR) among outfielders.
July was quite a month for Betts. In addition to it being an incredibly productive month, he was also selected to his first career All-Star appearance. Betts and Bradley both started in the outfield for the victorious American League team.
The calendar may have flipped to a new month, but that doesn’t mean Betts is showing any signs of slowing down. He started August with a bang, collecting a pair of extra-base hits, including the game-winning home run in the 9th inning against the Seattle Mariners on Monday.
With a pair of All-Stars being joined by top prospect Andrew Benintendi, there is a lot to like about this Red Sox outfield. We should probably get used to seeing a Red Sox outfielder taking home a Player of the Month award for many years to come.