Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts is being compared to Willie Mays. Is it too soon to make that case? Betts has some catching up to do.
Mookie Betts is having a great season for the Boston Red Sox, hitting .340 with 28 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Some people think he has the potential to be Hall Of Famer Willie Mays. Personally, I think it’s way too soon to be putting Betts in that category yet.
Betts was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft. From there he would quickly develop in the Red Sox farm system. Betts played in a Gulf Coast league right after he was drafted which was the CGL Red Sox. He collected two hits in four at-bats.
Betts moved on to the Low-A Lowell Spinners in 2012. He stole 20 bases in 71 games for them. He was then promoted to the High-A Salem Red Sox in 2013 where he batted .314 on the season. Betts began the 2014 season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and really made a name for himself. He batted .355 in 54 games. He would then get the call to head to Triple-A to join the PawSox later that season. Betts batted .322 with Pawtucket. Then he was called to Boston by the end of June in 2014.
Like Betts, Mays also had a short time in the Minor Leagues. He played for the Minneapolis Millers, a Triple-A team, where he batted .477 in 35 games. Mays was called up to the Giants at the end of May in 1951. He hit 20 home runs in his first season with the Giants. Also, he had 68 RBI’s. Betts had five home runs and 18 RBI’s after he was called up to Boston. Also, the game has changed so much since 1951.
Betts has been in the league for five years and already has 106 home runs in his career. He has 378 RBI’s and a batting average of .300. The right-fielder has won multiple Gold Gloves already. The only other Red Sox right fielder to win multiple Gold Gloves was Dwight Evans. Betts won the award in 2016 and 2017.
Mays was a 12-time Gold Glove winner. Betts would have to win ten more to tie him. At the age of 23, Mays had 41 home runs with the Giants. Betts had 31 at the same age in 2016. Mays had 110 RBI’s while Betts had 113.
At 24, Betts had 24 home runs and 102 RBI’s. Mays had 51 home runs and 127 RBI’s at that age.
So far this season, at the age of 25, Betts has 28 home runs with 68 RBI’s. Mays at 25 finished with 36 home runs and 84 RBI’s.
Mays also won a World Series, which Mookie Betts has yet to do. It’s possible Betts could have his shot at a World Series championship this season.
Mookie Betts is on his way to greatness, no doubt. However, it’s too soon to compare Betts to Mays based on the stats listed above.