Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts barely meets the criteria with only five full seasons with the Red Sox and just under 800 games but he was such a spectacular player to watch that I couldn’t leave him off my list.
Betts had a breakout season in 2016 when he hit .318/.363/.534 with 31 home runs. He was primarily a leadoff hitter but spent nearly one-third of his time in the middle of the lineup that season, allowing him to drive in a career-high 113 RBI. Betts earned his first All-Star appearance and Silver Slugger while finishing as the runner-up for the AL MVP.
During the historic 2018 season when the Red Sox set a franchise record for wins on their way to a World Series title, Betts led the way with his best year. He won a batting title by hitting .346 while leading the league with a .640 SLG and 129 runs scored. Betts also set career-highs with 32 home runs and a 1.078 OPS to capture the MVP award. His 10.4 WAR that year ranks as the seventh-best season by a position player in franchise history, per FanGraphs.
He’s never been a prolific power hitter but he’s elite for the role that he filled at the top of the Red Sox batting order. His .302 average and 110 home runs as a leadoff hitter are the best in franchise history among those with 200+ plate appearances in that role.
Betts is also an elite base runner, topping 20 stolen bases four times. He’s one of only two players in Red Sox history with a 30+ home run/30+ stolen base season.
The controversial trade that shipped Betts to Los Angeles might haunt us forever and undoubtedly prevents him from climbing higher in these rankings. He had a chance to be one of the best all-around players in Red Sox history if he spent most of his career here. Even with a relatively short tenure in Boston, Betts still makes my list.