Five critical individual stats Red Sox must improve in 2020
By Tim Starr
Mookie Betts came off of one of the best seasons in recent memory after his marvelous 2018 campaign. Betts was sure to regress in 2019, but he regressed a lot more than anticipated. His OPS shrank in 2019 to .915 from 1.078 in 2018.
Betts still had a very solid season at the top of the Red Sox lineup with a 135 OPS+, but clearly the stat to improve on in 2020 will be his OPS. Mookie hit for less power in 2019 and a lower batting average. He did garner the most walks in his career, though.
Even if his OPS remained the same from 2019 to 2020, he would still be one of the best players in baseball. However, the Red Sox clearly depend on Mookie’s production at the top of the order. When he gets going, so do the Red Sox.
If he reaches base, it puts pressure on the pitcher due to his speed and sets up the big bats following him: Devers, Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez, and the others following. Betts doesn’t have to improve from 2019 to 2020 in order to have a good season.
However, it is clear that if he can put up an MVP-like season, such as his 2018 numbers, then the Red Sox can become a more consistent and dominant lineup. Mookie is definitely capable of becoming the best player in baseball again.
The key to becoming the best Mookie possible is if he raises his OPS. If he is reaching base and slugging more, then the rest of the Red Sox lineup becomes insurmountably better.