Mookie Betts smashed his 100th career home run on Friday night, putting him in elite company among Red Sox greats. Just how elite?
Mookie Betts got the Boston Red Sox off to a good start against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. He took starter Jason Hammel deep in his first at bat for his 100th career blast. It came off the bat at 102 MPH at 30 degrees and traveled 410 feet before it landed in the left-center field bleachers. The five tool superstar has hit 22 HR so far on the season, tying him for 6th in MLB.
It has been a career year for the young stud despite having a near MVP season in 2016. Betts leads MLB in wRC+ and is tied for third in fWAR. He has been excellent defensively and has swiped 15 bags, the 13th most in MLB. He’s provided value in every possible way and shows no signs of slowing down. But the focus last night was on reaching 100 HR before his 26th birthday. Because in doing so, he has put himself in some elite company.
Only Red Sox need apply.
In the history of baseball only 86 players have ever hit 100 HR before turning 26. That list includes 27 Hall of Fame inductees and 18 active players. Of the active players, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera seem like locks to join the Hall. Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado all have as good a shot as any as well. But it was this tweet that stood out:
That’s two Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees and Tony Conigliaro, who was on that track before being hit in the face with a pitch, which effectively ended his career. And let’s be honest, any time your name is in the same list as Ted Williams, you are doing something right.
Here’s a look at the milestone home run:
How does he compare to those Red Sox greats?
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox invited group of players you’ve probably never heard of to Spring Training
- Jeter Downs’ official departure will continue to haunt Red Sox
- Aaron Judge’s Yankees return a brutal reminder of what could have been for Red Sox
- Red Sox should capitalize on Yankees’ latest roster move
- Red Sox ownership’s latest reported venture could be what’s affected team spending
We’ll start with the greatest Red Sox player ever: Ted Williams. Teddy Ballgame reached the 100 HR milestone in his age 23 season. He’d have gone way past it before turning 26 if he hadn’t been sent off to fight in WWII the next season. He would finish with 521 career home runs despite giving up two years of his prime and nearly three more to military service. Tony C. was just 22 when he did it, but would suffer his career derailing injury later that year. Recent HoF inductee Jim Rice was the same age as Betts when he did it in 1978. He would finish his career with 382 home runs.
Of course, the most exciting thing about Mookie Betts is that he is a more complete player than any of the three. He provides more value in the field and on the bases than any of them. And if this season is any indication, his bat is on par as well. The sky is the limit Markus Lynn Betts. And we can’t wait to see what he brings next.
Did you see his 100th blast? Where do you think Mookie Betts will end up in the pantheon of all time Red Sox greats? Is he headed for the Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments!