Boston, MA - For the remainder of the off-season in Major League Baseball, I am going to chronicle the incredible Boston Red Sox roster that guided the team to a 2018 World Series championship and evaluate how their 2018 seasons progressed and what the future has in store for each of the players. I could think of no better place to start this baseball-based endeavor than with the 2018 American League MVP.
That's right, Mookie Betts has been in the league since 2014, but there is no denying that his 2018 MVP campaign was the best of his young career (so far). Mookie outlasted AL heavyweights like Jose Ramirez and Mike Trout to secure Boston's first MVP trophy since Dustin Pedroia prevailed as the league's best player in 2008.
Mookie seemed to encapsulate the definition of a player who could do it all. A sub-par post-season was buoyed by one of the great regular seasons of the modern era. From the plate, Betts clobbered thirty-two home runs, one of which was a grand slam that came after a hard-fought thirteen pitch at bat. Forty-seven of his one hundred and eighty hits were doubles and he helped score eighty runs on the season, which mostly came from the lead-off position. His .346 batting average helped enable him to become a 30-30 player in the league (thirty home runs and thirty stolen bases), which boasted his versatility on the baseball diamond.
A Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner, Betts showcased a .996 fielding percentage from right field and a 1.000 fielding percentage from all other positions he fielded at, including center field and second base. He committed just one error all season.
An All-Star in 2018, Betts will return for the 2019 campaign, as well, when Boston looks to repeat. Currently, he's being paid over ten million dollars per season and will not be a free agent until the 2021 season. But from my perspective, Betts should get any contract he wants and Boston should be willing to pony up the cash. Long may Mookie reign in Boston!