As you might have noticed, given your presence on this website at this particular moment in time, Fire Brand has made its way over to a new network, Bloguin, and has a nice, snazzy new design. Unfortunately, the new site does not yet allow me to post polls, so those of you who might be fans of my semi-regular polls will have to face some disappointment this week.
Instead, I’m going to take a moment to comment on Alex Skillin’s recent piece regarding Mookie Betts, which is a very good one and well deserving of your clicks. I’ve been in the “keep Mookie” camp for some time now, but his recent hot streak has brought some more attention to his current predicament. The thing about prospects is that it’s fun to get excited when they come up, but easy to forget that they aren’t always going to succeed immediately — guys like Bogaerts, Oscar Taveras and Jonathan Singleton come to mind as high-profile players who have not yet broken out — and Mookie’s slow-ish start (while seeing intermittent playing time) may have worn some of the luster off of his MLB debut.
Now, however, Mookie Betts is slashing .287/.354/.470 on a perfectly reasonable .315 BABIP (a contrast to the BABIP-fueled numbers posted by Bogaerts to open the season) at the tender age of not-quite-22. He’s also a second baseman, blocked at that position by a perennial All-Star, and a centerfielder, soon to be blocked there too by a high-profile signing.
Some, therefore, believe Betts is a prime candidate to headline a blockbuster deal in some form — a top prospect with major league at-bats already under his belt and no home on the present roster. I disagree with this thought process. As often as the Red Sox — and additionally, the Internet — have already tried to acquire him, Giancarlo Stanton seems like a pipe dream and, with this current roster, I’m not a fan of moving Mookie for a player in their 30s (looking at you, Cole Hamels). I’d rather play an outfield game of musical chairs with Mookie, Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. (which JBJ probably not finding a seat), than watch him blossom into who-knows-what on another organization.
In short, I believe Mookie Betts has a very high ceiling, and is the Red Sox most important young player apart from Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox currently have a lot of flexibility to make moves; I’d just prefer those moves not include the 22-year-old Betts.
Since this is technically a poll, I’ll ask: what do you think the Sox should do with Mookie Betts? Get in touch with me on Twitter (twitter.com/PoarchDaniel) and let me know.