Now the Red Sox’ season is slowly slipping away from them. They are at a lowly 35-41 (.453), the fourth worst record in the AL. This also includes being 6.5 games behind the AL East Division leading Toronto Blue Jays at 42-35 (.545), and scoring a pathetic 284 runs, the lowest total in the entire AL and 6th lowest overall in all of baseball. Already there are many trade rumors circulating around of who the Red Sox should go after in hopes of saving their season (i.e. OF Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins).
But the question isn’t going to be who the Red Sox are going or should go after. Rather the big $1 million question is who they will be willing to part with in order to get that impact player. More than not, the big name pitching prospects (i.e. Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby De La Rosa, Henry Owens) will probably be off the table since the current Red Sox rotation could use their help. Not to mention that the likes of a Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini, or even a Jackie Bradley Jr. are going to be filed under the ‘Hands Off’ category. So who are the Red Sox willing to give up?
Well perhaps there’s one player that teams will definitely take a look at in the Red Sox farm system, 2B/OF Mookie Betts.
Now most of Red Sox fans are wondering why Mookie Betts? Some are also thinking that there could be another big positional prospect player the Red Sox will be willing to part ways with. However in order to get grade-A talent, you have to give up something of equal value. Ranked as a top 10 prospect (5th overall in Red Sox farm system, 2nd overall in 2B prospects in MLB), Mookie will definitely bring about some trade suitors.
Mookie has the tools of being an everyday starter in the majors. In 73 games in the minors this season (54 in Double-A, 19 in Triple-A), Mookie has a .344 batting average with 100 hits, 8 home runs, and 46 RBIs in 291 at-bats. He also owns a .429 on-base percentage, a .526 slugging percentage, and an OPS of .955. Plus Mookie has displayed some speed on the bases, swiping 26 bases out of 31 attempts (a success rate of .839). Plus he has only hit into just a meager 7 double-plays this season. Essentially Mookie is the type who will not only make smart decisions at which pitches to swing at, he can successfully put the ball in play with little to no ill-effects.
Defensively, Mookie has impressed many of fans and writers with his ability to play 2 different positions (outfield and second base). In the same 73 games, Mookie has had 286 defensive chances between OF/CF and 2B, getting 144 putouts, 137 assists, and only committing 5 errors to get an impressive fielding percentage of .983. Plus the same speed that he uses to swipe bases, Mookie also uses to cover a lot of ground playing in center field. He has the ability to be able to read and react appropriately when the ball is in the air and able to track it down with ease.Not to mention he's help convert 27 double-plays, applying the same concentration at the plate to his glove work.
Now most doubters will try to say that those stats were ballooned up due to him playing Double-A ball for the first part of the season. If you take away his Double-A numbers, Mookie’s Triple-A numbers are still impressive.
In 19 games with the Pawtucket Red Sox, he’s batted a .312 average with 22 hits, 2 home runs, and 12 RBIs. Mookie also has an on-base percentage of .391, a slugging percentage of .455, and an OPS of .845. His batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS lead all PawSox batters on the current roster in the early goings of the season. Not to mention on the defensive side, Mookie has 45 defensive chances with 32 putouts, 16 assists, and only 1 error (a .980 fielding percentage).
With the log jam in outfield and at second base (especially with Dustin Pedroia stationed there for the next few years), it wouldn't come as a surprise to see Mookie lumped in a trade package to get somebody into Boston that would make an immediate impact. A team who needs someone to help generate hits or get on base (i.e. Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners) could use the talents of a Mookie Betts to help bolster their chances of making the wildcard or even the divisional lead.
But there's still plenty of baseball to be played before the panic/blow up button needs to be pressed. Though the Red Sox brass say they are focused on the future, don't be too surprised if one day you see Mookie wearing the uniform of a different team. Hopefully if that does happen, it doesn't come back to bite the Red Sox down the road.
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