The Boston Red Sox have to feel good about their young outfield right now.
Sure, they like what they see from Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi but apparently, so do more people. They made the clear when Mookie Betts became a top-3 candidate in MVP voting. But before the MVP vote becomes official, he already won an award.
That’s right, Betts received his first Gold Glove this year for his strong defensive play in right field. Makes sense. He’s a great fielder after all.
Oh and he has a cannon right arm.
What’s funny too is right field is far from his natural position. Far from it, in fact.
Betts was a shortstop in high school. But when he entered pro ball, scrawny as he was, it became apparent he was not a fit there. They went ahead and tried him at second base. He was good. But the Red Sox had a decent second baseman, which led to his emergence in the outfield — in center field. But Jackie plays center field. OK, right field it is.
Dustin Pedroia and JBJ were also up for the award at their respective position. But, come on, anyone who watches the Sox on a regular basis knows those guys couldn’t be the best. Does Jackie have great range and a strong throwing arm? Yes. But his throwing accuracy is poor and he plays a position that’s deep in elite fielders. And second base is another deep position — hence why Pedroia didn’t win.
So that leaves one question: does Mookie win MVP. Honestly, probably not. Mike Trout will likely take care of that. But just because Mookie Betts isn’t Mike Trout, it doesn’t mean he’s not a great ballplayer. So yeah, it really doesn’t matter that much. Still a huge asset.