Red Sox: Mookie Betts snubbed from inaugural All-MLB First Team
This year saw the inaugural All-MLB teams announced. The Red Sox had one player in each, but it could be argued that both should’ve been on the First Team.
Tuesday saw the declaration of the first-ever All-MLB teams. Two teams were announced as MLB, this year, became the last of the ‘Big Four’ sports leagues to do this at the end of a season. The league is known for its Golden Glove awards and Silver Sluggers, but it was decided that from now on there’ll be All-MLB teams as well.
For the Boston Red Sox, two players made the cut. After such a disastrous campaign, it shouldn’t have been expected that many more Red Sox representatives would be making either of these teams, but it’s good to know these superstars are still acknowledged as they should be.
If this came a year ago, then we would’ve seen a lot more Red Sox players in with a shout. In the end, it was shortstop sensation Xander Bogaerts who made the First Team and superstar Mookie Betts making the Second Team. Both players made the teams, which is great, but there has to be a legitimate argument that Betts not making the First Team was not the right call.
The All-MLB First Team saw an outfield trio of Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich named, ultimately leaving Mookie settling for the next best. It was obviously a tough decision for the committee to make, especially given the number of elite level players who play in today’s outfield spots. But Mookie not making the cut as one of the three best outfielders of last year doesn’t seem to be right.
Trout won the AL MVP for the season and therefore is a shoo-in. That’s one spot locked down. Then you’ve got to think the other two were always going to be between Betts, Bellinger and Yelich.
Yordan Alvarez and Juan Soto got the nod for the Second Team alongside Mookie, and they both deserved their spots, but they weren’t at the levels of the other four. Their time will definitely come, but their spots seem about right for this year.
Bellinger, also winning an MVP in the NL has to be given his spot automatically too, and you can’t argue too much about that.
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But that third spot, that comes down to Yelich vs. Mookie is a tough call. Statistically, Yelich wins, but from a more of an eye-test angle and factoring in what both players did in the field then Betts takes more of an edge.
You’ve got to remember that it’s an outfield position. Obviously what you do at the plate plays the biggest role in these teams, like offence in the NBA, but factoring in defence to a more balanced role gives Mookie the edge. Betts won his fourth Gold Glove in 2018. Both Betts and Yelich got a Silver Slugger too. The fact that Yelich’s Brewers made the playoffs was also a factor.
Betts’ season was an under the radar one – of course it was after what he did in 2018. But, stats-wise, he equalled his RBI total of 80 and was just three homers shy of his 2018 total. For the second season running though, Mookie led the majors in runs with 135 on the year. This is the one thing Mookie always definitely has over his competitors. His ability to get home is like no-one else in baseball and it kept the Red Sox alive at times this season.
There’s for sure a strong argument for both Betts and Yelich, but from a Red Sox standpoint, Mookie even ending up on either of these teams just goes to show how good of a player he really is. With Bogaerts and Rafael Devers getting most of the spotlight, to see Betts in an All-MLB team is the support you need to see as to why trading him would be the worst possible move this front office could make. Let’s just hope they make the right decision.