Red Sox: Mookie Betts changes his stance and improves at the plate

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Mookie Betts /

Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has had an underwhelming offensive season so far. However, a recent change in his stance may be the key to a big rebound at the plate.

Since September 1st, Mookie Betts has batted .274/.348/.564 for the Red Sox as they continue to try to secure the 2017 American League East division title. He’s also added four doubles, one triple, four home runs, and has twelve RBIs.

This has been the most consistent month offensively for Betts in the 2017 season. He’s had his ups and downs this year and he finally may be locked in to his MVP-caliber self due to the help of Red Sox hitting coach, Chili Davis. Betts and Davis reviewed video of Betts’s batting stance and decided it needed some changes and slight tweaks.

Betts began the 2017 season with a pretty wide stance, seen here:

Red Sox
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 15: Mookie Betts /

Betts has also previously discussed how his stance has gotten wider and wider over time. However, after reviewing footage of his at-bats, Davis decided that Betts needed to narrow his stance and shorten up the distance between his front and back feet. Davis pushed this change onto Betts because of his inconsistencies at the plate and believe that if Betts stood taller at the plate, his swing would and impact would be smoother.

"“Get my body taller,” Betts said."

On September 12th, against the Oakland Athletics, Betts hit two home runs, one triple, and drove in six runs. Below is his stance during that game.

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Notice that the Red Sox outfielder has a much more narrow approach at the plate. Betts told reporters that these changes have been happening over “probably the last couple of weeks. Yeah, just trying to stick with one thing and work with errors on one thing instead of multiple things.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell complimented Betts and Davis for making the changes.

"“I think tonight [September 12th] was a snapshot of what we’ve seen the last couple years from him more consistently,” Red Sox manager John Farrell stated. “To me, he’s just not rushing out to get pitches. He’s letting the ball travel a little bit deeper in the strike zone. He looks loose in the batter’s box."

Farrell also added:

"“The bat speed has always been there. I think he’s just putting himself in a better spot to square some pitches up. … Just the fact that he’s a little bit more upright, a little bit more relaxed, not charging out to get some pitches, it’s certainly a key.”"

Next: As the season fades into September...

Well, the changes have looked great in the month of September and the Red Sox have needed that as they head for October with the New York Yankees on their heels. Due to his strong September, Mookie also became the first Red Sox player ever to have 20 or more home runs and 20 or more stolen bases in back-to-back seasons. Hopefully, the Betts we are all seeing now continues to contribute in the post-season and can help bring Boston another World Series championship.