You may have heard the saying “You’re never done being the best,” but in the world of baseball, that is not true. Mookie Betts is far from done being baseball’s best player. His hard-hit percentage against breaking pitches, His sprint speed, His outs above average on defense, and His OPS+ are still growing. Despite his accomplishments so far, the Red Sox are not finished yet.
Mookie Betts’ hard-hit percentage against breaking pitches
Mookie Betts’ hard-hit rate against breaking pitches is 47.0 percent this season, which is lower than his career average of 48.7 percent. His exit velo is still 82nd percentile, but his barrel rate has dropped to the low nineties. His xwOBA is also down, to 79.8 percent, from 97.8 percent last year.
The first 34 balls Mookie Betts hit did not fit into any specific angle in MLB Statcast, but the numbers are still impressive. Betts has walked 10.5 percent of the time this year, while his slugging percentage is.522. Although his initial offensive profile was unusual, he has become a staple of the Oakland A’s lineup. His all-around excellence combines elite defense, a keen feel for the strike zone, and an elite ability to drive the baseball. Mookie Betts’ hard-hit percentage against breaking pitches is low, but he has become a staple of Oakland baseball.
The next important step in hitting a breaking pitch is to understand the launch position. Betts’ barrel is at its highest position when the front heel hits the ball. When the front heel hits the ball, he’s not trying to “push” the barrel toward the pitcher. He is simply “slamming on the breaks” with his front hip. By maintaining the hinge, Betts is able to make contact and move to the plate.
His sprint speed
Mookie Betts’ sprint speed may not have fully recovered from the decline in his velocity that marked his early career. While his power and bat speed remain above-average, the batting average, hard-hit ball rate, and outs above-average have all slowed. Nevertheless, Betts is on pace to hit 30 home runs this year. With this, Betts remains one of baseball’s most promising young stars.
Although Dustin Pedroia has surpassed Betts’ speed in recent seasons, the three-time All-Star has not yet produced a power season to rival that of the Dodgers ace. Similarly, a 21-year-old Chase Utley, another player with a similarly quick sprint speed, was a mental hazard to pitchers in his first full season.
His outs above average on defense
Despite his mediocre offensive numbers, Mookie Betts was a highly effective defender in 2019. He has four straight Gold Gloves and won the Overall Defensive Player of the Year trophy. In Los Angeles, he was able to earn a fifth Gold Glove. His outs above average on defense rank in the top 96 percent in the majors. With his arm strength, Betts has been able to combine Joe DiMaggio’s batting eye with Carlos Beltran’s slugging ability and Jason Heyward’s defensive wizardry.
Betts’s defensive metrics are similar across metrics. He leads the team in plays made and defensive shifts. His directional slice is a little above average, though not nearly as high as Kim Kardashian’s. In the majors, however, he is still a solid hitter and has a low strikeout rate. His outs above average are a strong indication of his ability to play the field.
Mookie Betts’ OPS+ is a measure of his on-base percentage. In the past, it was more accurate to measure a player’s strikeout rate. The metric is calculated by multiplying the number of strikeouts by the number of balls in a count. The numbers are often used to evaluate a player’s offensive potential. Mookie Betts’ OPS+ has been below average for much of his career, but he’s finally starting to turn things around.
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Mookie Betts is one of the most talented players in baseball. He made history in 2014 by hitting 40 home runs in one season and stealing 108 bases. During that same season, Betts was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and was named the youngest player to hit at least 40 home runs. The following year, Betts became the youngest player in MLB history to win three Gold Glove awards. His defensive skills were also stellar, earning him 20 runs saved and a 14.7 UZR.