Boston Red Sox Memories: Top Five Mookie Betts moments
By Sean Penney
Most Valuable Player
The 2018 campaign from Mookie Betts was one for the ages. It was more than simply the best season by any hitter in the American League. This was one of the best years by a position player in franchise history.
Betts captured a batting title by hitting .346 while also leading the league with 129 runs and a .640 slugging percentage. He set a career-high with 32 home runs and drove in 80 RBI. Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards were just the appetizers for the MVP hardware he would take home.
FanGraphs valued Betts at 10.4 WAR that season. Only Barry Bonds has produced a higher single-season fWAR in the 21st century (2001, 2002, 2004). That fWAR has only been topped by a Red Sox hitter six times in franchise history. Three of those belong to Ted Williams and one is by Tris Speaker. The other was Carl Yastrzemski‘s Triple Crown season in 1967. That’s the company Betts put himself in.
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball but even he can’t match Mookie’s MVP season. Trout’s best season was 10.2 fWAR in 2013. Baseball-Reference’s version agrees. Trout has three seasons with 10+ WAR by their calculation but none that can top the 10.9 WAR Betts produced in 2018.
There are a lot of reasons to remember the 2018 season fondly. The Red Sox won a franchise record 108 games and a World Series championship. Those are team achievements though. If we’re looking specifically at the best moments Betts has provided, nothing tops joining the elite class of Major League Baseball by earning his first MVP.