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When Mookie Betts reported to Spring Training in 2017, he was asked if he believed that he could duplicate his MVP runner-up season of a year ago when he hit .318 / 31 HR’s / 113 RBI’s / 122 runs scored, and accumulated 214 hits.
Of course, Mookie flashed confidence in his abilities. Though stating that he would show regression at times, he expressed confidence in true MVP candidate fashion.
Below are his numbers from 2016 to 2017:
Mookie Betts 2016: .318 / 31 HR’s / 113 RBI’s / 122 runs / 214 hits
Mookie Betts 2017: .264 / 24 HR’s / 102 RBI’s / 102 runs / 166 hits
As you can see Betts definitely underwent a bit of regression in his stats from a season prior.
It is likely that the numerical regression is due hitting in numerous places in the lineup. Betts hit anywhere from the lead-off spot to cleanup in former manager, John Farrell’s lineups.
With new hitting coach, Tim Hyers, Betts should regain his confidence as well as potentially regain a steady spot in the lineup.
Hyers was a key piece in the success of Cody Bellinger’s immediate success, as well as the re-ignition of Yasiel Puig in the postseason. With Mookie Betts’ immense talent, there is little reason why he won’t be the next success on Hyers’ resume.
The Cora / Hyers / Roenicke regime will allow Mookie to thrive wherever he may be in the lineup and give him the chance to put up numbers that were similar to his MVP runner-up season.
Betts is entering his age 25 season, with the ability to impact the game on both sides with his terrific defense as well. The Red Sox would be wise to extend their budding star, sooner than later.
In 2018, expect to see Mookie put up MVP caliber numbers, and potentially, add that prestigious award to his resume.