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Mookie Betts 2018 Outlook


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17 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

 

 

 His reward after that is to still be the 5th or 6th overall pick?

 

That is just crazy to me.

 

OK, so your ultimate point is Betts should be ranked worse this year, which is a fine.  Everything else you said, really didn't make sense. Betts is a truly elite outfielder.  If you're looking at things after the fact, sure Blackmon and quite a few other people should have cost more than Betts last season.  You don't need to make up rules saying only truly elite outfielders can be paid for more than $40, especially when most leagues are different. It's an arbitrary rule and If Betts isn't elite, I'm not sure who else is besides Trout.

 

Betts disappointed by finishing 26th overall and disappointed mostly in batting average.  If you're a "go by the last years stats" guy, I can see why you're down on Betts.  I still see an elite talent that will bounce back, and like many have already said, a minor bounce back is all he needs... he finished as the 26th best player last season.  Thats the argument for Betts at like 6. If the downside for a player is finishing 26, that's super high.  I'm not sure you're processing how good it is to finish 26th in a bad year when all the underlying numbers suggest he should have done better. 

 

+100 RBIS +100 Runs, and +20 steals is super elite, he was the ONLY player to do this... and in a bad year. 24 HR is also nothing to sneeze at either. Literally the only bad thing abut his line was the average, which wasn't a big negative, just wasn't the + everyone expected. That's baseball though, average fluctuates. 

 

If you're going to set the bar as Mike Trout for anything, it's not helpful to anyone. 

 

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Here's a complete list of the games where Mookie has failed to record at least one Run, RBI, or SB:   5/9 5/1 (entered as a defensive replacement, only had 2 AB) 4/26 4/24

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Your argument about him getting 100 R and 100 RBIs is arbitrary.  It's like me saying "Dee Gordon is the only player to have a .300+ BA and more than 50 steals so he should be drafted in the top 10.

 

The fact is that he finished 26th overall.  It's not "mediocre" compared to baseball as a whole but it's mediocre for a guy you want to blow a 5th round pick on.  I am no expert on math but last time I check 26th does not equal 5 or 6.

 

On top of that a lot of his rank is predicated on things that may not repeat.  The counting stats, well the Red Sox overall offense was below average last year in terms of OPS.  They had a phenomenal avg in RISP situations.  That won't repeat itself.  HanRam, Pedroia, Moreland, J Bradley jr.  Benny and Devers are promising but it's too soon to jump to conclusions.

 

His 26th overall performance was easier to swallow because some of his elite groupset got hurt ...Trout/Harper.  But his 26th ranking was also based on his health.  Partner Trout or Harper with any number of pickups and the overall combined value would probably blow away Betts.

 

So for me I'd rather grab an elite pitcher with the cost of Betts and then gamble with a young speed/power combo for cheaper money.  I'd rather have a scarcity position with unlimited upside like Correa or Turner.

 

That is simply what I'd rather do.

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50 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Your argument about him getting 100 R and 100 RBIs is arbitrary.  It's like me saying "Dee Gordon is the only player to have a .300+ BA and more than 50 steals so he should be drafted in the top 10.

 

The fact is that he finished 26th overall.  It's not "mediocre" compared to baseball as a whole but it's mediocre for a guy you want to blow a 5th round pick on.  I am no expert on math but last time I check 26th does not equal 5 or 6.

How many guys drafted in the top 10 finished in the top 10? Not many.

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1 hour ago, KingJoffrey said:

 

 

His 26th overall performance was easier to swallow because some of his elite groupset got hurt ...Trout/Harper.  But his 26th ranking was also based on his health. 

 

It's also easier to swallow because a first rounder who finishes 26th best player in fantasy baseball isn't a bust. Thinking it is, is your problem.  You even needed to bring your crutch argument of Trout in for the 5th time.  Nobody is denying Trout is much better than Betts, bringing him up seems foolish each and every time.  Whether it's prospects or evaluating Mookie Betts, Mike Trout being Mike Trout has made people irrational about a lot of things by setting him as the bar for anything.

 

This isn't fantasy basketball where you  know if Lebron, Anthony Davis, Westbrook and whoever... if they play 80-82 games there chance of being a top 15 player is super ridiculously high.  There is a lot more fluctuation in fantasy baseball.

 

If you're just looking at last year's stats and think he's going to finish 26, that's fine, it's also incredibly dumb to think people just repeat their last year's numbers.  Every advanced stat that's predicative of average is showing Betts was unlucky, if you want to put on a blindfold and just pretend Mookie is a .264 average hitter, by all means do that.   With regression and hitting closer to 290-300, he's going to have more steals, runs, and average to improve on an already high 26th overall placing. He's an elite player.

 

I already have Turner above Betts in  standard category leagues, Bryce Harper and Betts are close enough that I don't see a problem with anyone preferring either guy... same with Blackmon.  If you have Betts ranked at 11-12, that's fine, we're talking about maybe a couple picks after consensus. What's the point of arguing? If you have him outside of 15 in a 5 OF league, I think that's probably not good.

 

 

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2 hours ago, brockpapersizer said:

 

OK, so your ultimate point is Betts should be ranked worse this year, which is a fine.  Everything else you said, really didn't make sense. Betts is a truly elite outfielder.  If you're looking at things after the fact, sure Blackmon and quite a few other people should have cost more than Betts last season.  You don't need to make up rules saying only truly elite outfielders can be paid for more than $40, especially when most leagues are different. It's an arbitrary rule and If Betts isn't elite, I'm not sure who else is besides Trout.

 

Betts disappointed by finishing 26th overall and disappointed mostly in batting average.  If you're a "go by the last years stats" guy, I can see why you're down on Betts.  I still see an elite talent that will bounce back, and like many have already said, a minor bounce back is all he needs... he finished as the 26th best player last season.  Thats the argument for Betts at like 6. If the downside for a player is finishing 26, that's super high.  I'm not sure you're processing how good it is to finish 26th in a bad year when all the underlying numbers suggest he should have done better. 

 

+100 RBIS +100 Runs, and +20 steals is super elite, he was the ONLY player to do this... and in a bad year. 24 HR is also nothing to sneeze at either. Literally the only bad thing abut his line was the average, which wasn't a big negative, just wasn't the + everyone expected. That's baseball though, average fluctuates. 

 

If you're going to set the bar as Mike Trout for anything, it's not helpful to anyone. 

 

I also see an elite talent that bounces back. He's had a whole season to adjust to Ortiz not hitting behind him. 

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On 11/2/2017 at 1:30 PM, brockpapersizer said:

 

It's also easier to swallow because a first rounder who finishes 26th best player in fantasy baseball isn't a bust. Thinking it is, is your problem.  You even needed to bring your crutch argument of Trout in for the 5th time.  Nobody is denying Trout is much better than Betts, bringing him up seems foolish each and every time.  Whether it's prospects or evaluating Mookie Betts, Mike Trout being Mike Trout has made people irrational about a lot of things by setting him as the bar for anything.

 

This isn't fantasy basketball where you  know if Lebron, Anthony Davis, Westbrook and whoever... if they play 80-82 games there chance of being a top 15 player is super ridiculously high.  There is a lot more fluctuation in fantasy baseball.

 

If you're just looking at last year's stats and think he's going to finish 26, that's fine, it's also incredibly dumb to think people just repeat their last year's numbers.  Every advanced stat that's predicative of average is showing Betts was unlucky, if you want to put on a blindfold and just pretend Mookie is a .264 average hitter, by all means do that.   With regression and hitting closer to 290-300, he's going to have more steals, runs, and average to improve on an already high 26th overall placing. He's an elite player.

 

I already have Turner above Betts in  standard category leagues, Bryce Harper and Betts are close enough that I don't see a problem with anyone preferring either guy... same with Blackmon.  If you have Betts ranked at 11-12, that's fine, we're talking about maybe a couple picks after consensus. What's the point of arguing? If you have him outside of 15 in a 5 OF league, I think that's probably not good.

 

 

 

You are making  up all these arguments that I am not making nor have I ever made.

 

Never did I argue about Trout being better than Betts.  The argument is whether or not Trout is better than Betts FOR HIS COST. Not everyone plays in draft leagues.  I feel you are better off spending the extra money for Trout and others of his kind like Altuve then you are spending a little less money for Betts.   The risk/Reward ratio on betts is not favorable.

 

So the top 12 is unreliable?  You are actually arguing my point.  You're right the top 12 IS unreliable.  That doesn't mean the correct course of action is to gamble.  That actually increases the value of consistent players who find themselves on  or close to that list.  A lot of those players from 2016, like Jonathan Villar.  Well that goes to show you not to invest too much into unproven commodities.  

 

Can Betts improve? of course he can.  But so can 2 dozen other players at a similar or lesser  cost and many of whom also have good advanced metrics  or could improve simply due to more luck with injury.

 

When it comes to making predictions, fantasy baseball, or any other game that involves making future prdictions based on historical data.  Well "the trend is your friend".  Right now the trend in fantasy baseball is a lack of quality SP, a lack of depth at some key positions (C) and a lot of OF and 1B coming out of the woodwork to put up MVP type numbers.  No way am I going to gamble $45 on a player that could be replaced by a $1-$5 player on draft day (or free off the waiver wire).

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8 hours ago, Baseball Jonze said:

What happens to Mook if Boston trades for Stanton? Assuming he isn't going the other way of course, does he move to CF or back to 2B?

 

pretty sure nothing and that means one of the 3 OF they have won't be on their roster currently, or Stanton playing DH. 

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22 hours ago, Baseball Jonze said:

What happens to Mook if Boston trades for Stanton? Assuming he isn't going the other way of course, does he move to CF or back to 2B?

If Benintendi went for Stanton (please, God, no!) then Stanton would move to left field because no way could he play right field at Fenway.  Right field in Boston is far far harder to play than center field just dimensions wise as well as the way it is built let alone that it is the sun field in day games.  And no Mookie Betts will not move back to second base ever.  And not to center field as long as Jackie Bradley Jr remains on the team.

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Stanton's contract is virtually underwater, especially with that opt out. No way the Red Sox would give up Benintendi in a deal for him. People will be surprised at how small the return is if the Marlins do decide to move him.

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I doubt that he opts out as where would he get more money? Even right now the number of teams with salary cap room is limited and those that have room are looking at next years FA crop.

 

I doubt the Marlins get all that much either as it is a salary dump and the less they get back the less they have to chip in for years to come. Jeter saw how albatross contracts can hamstring clubs from his time with the Yankees (Texas paying the Yankees to take ARod took a big chunk of money that Texas couldn't use for payroll).

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The way I see it, Mookie Betts 2018 = Bryce Harper 2017 

 

Bryce Harper was awesome in 2015 so he went very high in 2016 and had a disappointing season.  His average was way down but he still had a 20-20 season.  Sounds like anyone we know?  Everyone knew he would come back and have a great year and he did, until the injury.

 

So by the same logic Betts should be 1st round all the way.  Everyone knows he is an elite talent coming off a bad year, with plenty of good players around him. 

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3 hours ago, Moonshot said:

The way I see it, Mookie Betts 2018 = Bryce Harper 2017 

 

Bryce Harper was awesome in 2015 so he went very high in 2016 and had a disappointing season.  His average was way down but he still had a 20-20 season.  Sounds like anyone we know?  Everyone knew he would come back and have a great year and he did, until the injury.

 

So by the same logic Betts should be 1st round all the way.  Everyone knows he is an elite talent coming off a bad year, with plenty of good players around him. 

 

You may be right, but 2 out of the last 3 years he's posted what basically amount to top-40 numbers in standard 5x5 rather than first round numbers. He could very well be a first round talent, but maybe the guy we saw this year and the guy we saw in 2015 is closer to what we should expect going forward than the 2016 season where everything seemed to break his way. 

 

He's still only 25, though, so no reason he shouldn't be able to grow/improve.  

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6 hours ago, absknicks said:

 

You may be right, but 2 out of the last 3 years he's posted what basically amount to top-40 numbers in standard 5x5 rather than first round numbers. He could very well be a first round talent, but maybe the guy we saw this year and the guy we saw in 2015 is closer to what we should expect going forward than the 2016 season where everything seemed to break his way. 

 

He's still only 25, though, so no reason he shouldn't be able to grow/improve.  

 

 

I don't think anything broke his way in 2016.  The numbers said, "this is who he is and those are the numbers he should have."    There was nothing flukey about 2016 when he was the #1 ranked guy on most player raters.

 

Instead, I think it's a clear case of the numbers NOT breaking his way in 2017.  A .268 BABIP for a guy with an increased walk rate and with his speed?  That's absurd and incredibly unlucky.  Especially in that park.

 

He could do NOTHING and just continue being who he has been the last two years, and that average should jump from the .264 range to the .290 range.

 

The fact he showed major growth in BB% last year suggests that he actually got better as a hitter in 2017, but wasn't rewarded in the stats department.  That may change in 2018.  If he continues that growth in patience and the BABIP regulates to where it should be, expect a career high OBP.  Something in the .370 range.

 

If you want to look at his 2015, he was just a top 40 player.  The numbers suggest that was who he was.  He had a lower walk rate and higher K%, but still posted a .310 BABIP and .291 average.  He has grown as a hitter since then, showing more power, a better walk rate, and shaving that K%.   He ranked 37th overall, but there was nothing flukey about his 2015 either.

 

So, I don't think we are looking at the same guy in 2017 as we were in 2015.  There were some major changes in his profile.  If I had to choose over who was real, 2016 Mookie Betts, or 2017 Mookie Betts, the numbers say that 2016 was real and 2017 was unlucky and that he is much much better than the 2015 version of himself.

 

His second half and low BABIP scream injury to me and obviously those wrist and thumb issues likely played a role in those low numbers.  Probably also sapped that power a little.

 

As long as he is healthy and the wrist is no longer an issue, I fully expect his numbers to bounce back and even improve in key areas like OBP, which could lead to more steals, more runs, etc.

 

So, basically, of the three years you are looking at, the only one that seems to be unlucky is 2017.  And, even then, he was the 33rd ranked player overall on the yahoo player rater.  What I'm suggesting is that if he changes nothing as a hitter, he will be 20+ points higher in batting average and post a career high in OBP next year and post more runs, RBI, steals as a result.  So, unless you expect a .268 BABIP again, he will be better next year and you should project and rank accordingly. 

Edited by The Czar
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I hated the steamer projections on Altuve, but I think they are pretty right on for Betts. And if Steamer is to be believed, Betts would be ranked higher on draft day.  He won't be, but they seem to have more favorable projections for Betts.

 

Steamer: .298 AVG, .370 OBP, 27 HR, 102 Runs, 89 RBI, 21 SB

 

I might even project a few more SBs if he is going to put up that .370 OBP like I think he will and they predict here.

Edited by The Czar
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Part of the problem in tracking Mookie over the last two years is he doesn't know at times what the club wanted from him.  First he was the lead-off guy looking to hit for high average and steal a lot.  Then he was the number three guy taking David Ortiz's spot in the line-up and trying to swing out of his shoes and be a pure power hitter.

Farell couldn't decide what Mookie's role was and kept switching him around in the line-up between these two spots and even batting 2nd a few times I believe.  So Mookie kept trying to re-adjust his swing and approach at the plate to match his position in the line-up which I think can screw up any hitter some.

Hopefully Alex Cora will just stick Betts into one role this coming year and let the guy play.

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12 hours ago, The Czar said:

I hated the steamer projections on Altuve, but I think they are pretty right on for Betts. And if Steamer is to be believed, Betts would be ranked higher on draft day.  He won't be, but they seem to have more favorable projections for Betts.

 

Steamer: .298 AVG, .370 OBP, 27 HR, 102 Runs, 89 RBI, 21 SB

 

I might even project a few more SBs if he is going to put up that .370 OBP like I think he will and they predict here.

 

27 HRs seems like a stretch. xStats had him pegged for 21 this year, 24 in 2016 and 17.5 in 2015. 

 

There's a lot of interesting data in his Xstats profile but people seem to want to give him the benefit of the doubt despite his average exit velocity continuing to trend down since 2015 and his PU% soaring. He was definitely a bit unlucky in the BABIP department but the lack of power is concerning and he probably wasn't as unlucky as a lot of people are making it out considering the two aforementioned factors. Also, his PoorlyHit% was up nearly 2.5 percentage points from in 2017 compared to 2016 so I definitely wouldn't say that he improved as a hitter. 

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4 hours ago, absknicks said:

 

27 HRs seems like a stretch. xStats had him pegged for 21 this year, 24 in 2016 and 17.5 in 2015. 

 

There's a lot of interesting data in his Xstats profile but people seem to want to give him the benefit of the doubt despite his average exit velocity continuing to trend down since 2015 and his PU% soaring. He was definitely a bit unlucky in the BABIP department but the lack of power is concerning and he probably wasn't as unlucky as a lot of people are making it out considering the two aforementioned factors. Also, his PoorlyHit% was up nearly 2.5 percentage points from in 2017 compared to 2016 so I definitely wouldn't say that he improved as a hitter. 

Doesn't that look like the wrist and thumb issues though? Guys generally don't lose power at his age. They usually trend upward. Those injuries were pretty well documented last season and are exactly the type that would cause those issues with sapping power. I'm way more inclined to believe the power loss is connected there especially for a guy with elite strike zone recognition like he is showing. Generally when guys walk more and K less, it's followed by more homers. It's something I actually look for in hitters (see Smoak 2017). He is showing more BB and less K, but it did not correlate to hitting the ball harder. I look at a lot of data, and that's weird, which is why I want to keep monitoring his wrist issues heading into 2018. 

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On 11/17/2017 at 12:48 PM, The Big Bat Theory said:

Part of the problem in tracking Mookie over the last two years is he doesn't know at times what the club wanted from him.  First he was the lead-off guy looking to hit for high average and steal a lot.  Then he was the number three guy taking David Ortiz's spot in the line-up and trying to swing out of his shoes and be a pure power hitter.

Farell couldn't decide what Mookie's role was and kept switching him around in the line-up between these two spots and even batting 2nd a few times I believe.  So Mookie kept trying to re-adjust his swing and approach at the plate to match his position in the line-up which I think can screw up any hitter some.

Hopefully Alex Cora will just stick Betts into one role this coming year and let the guy play.

Very good point. Boston wasn't nearly the offensive juggernaut they were in 2016 and they really struggled to replace that monster bat of Ortiz. Farell changed the order around quite a few times which is for sure not ideal. Definitely don't think it was a coincidence that you also saw Bogaerts and HanRam fall back big time from what they did in 2016. 

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On 11/18/2017 at 4:12 AM, The Czar said:

Doesn't that look like the wrist and thumb issues though? Guys generally don't lose power at his age. They usually trend upward. Those injuries were pretty well documented last season and are exactly the type that would cause those issues with sapping power. I'm way more inclined to believe the power loss is connected there especially for a guy with elite strike zone recognition like he is showing. Generally when guys walk more and K less, it's followed by more homers. It's something I actually look for in hitters (see Smoak 2017). He is showing more BB and less K, but it did not correlate to hitting the ball harder. I look at a lot of data, and that's weird, which is why I want to keep monitoring his wrist issues heading into 2018. 

100% his thumb/wrist  issue caused ...issues. Other than an an oblique injury I’m sure swinging and hitting with thumb and wrist issues is extremely tough and painful.

 

You grip the bat differently with hand issues (Yadi a few years ago used 4 fingers to hold the bat and hit.) That bat speed and whip just isn’t there. 

 

This is is a good point on people dissing betts

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On 18/11/2017 at 5:12 AM, The Czar said:

Doesn't that look like the wrist and thumb issues though? Guys generally don't lose power at his age. They usually trend upward. Those injuries were pretty well documented last season and are exactly the type that would cause those issues with sapping power. I'm way more inclined to believe the power loss is connected there especially for a guy with elite strike zone recognition like he is showing. Generally when guys walk more and K less, it's followed by more homers. It's something I actually look for in hitters (see Smoak 2017). He is showing more BB and less K, but it did not correlate to hitting the ball harder. I look at a lot of data, and that's weird, which is why I want to keep monitoring his wrist issues heading into 2018. 

Do you carry the same concern with Trout?

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These are trouts splits 2017, he was injured June 5th I think and missed 5or 6 weeks?? 

By Day/Month AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
April 99 18 36 9 2 7 18 14 1 23 5 0 .364 .443 .707 1.150
May 64 18 19 5 0 9 18 22 3 19 5 1 .297 .484 .797 1.281
July 54 9 17 1 0 3 9 10 0 13 2 0 .315 .422 .500 .922
August 92 26 29 3 1 8 16 27 1 21 3 2 .315 .475 .630 1.105
September 91 21 21 7 0 6 11 21 2 14 7 1 .231 .383 .505 .888
October 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Last 7 Days 14 2 3 0 0 2 2 2 0 4 0 0 .214 .313 .643 .956
Pre All-Star 163 36 55 14 2 16 36 36 4 42 10 1 .337 .461 .742 1.203
Post All-Star 239 56 68 11 1 17 36 58 3 48 12 3 .285 .429 .552 .981
By Opponent AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG O

 

August was absolutely elite, September was not good but not,worrying. But also post ASB was very good. I see 0 concern?

 

 

11 minutes ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Do you carry the same concern with Trout?

Do u?

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3 hours ago, zstlj said:

 

These are trouts splits 2017, he was injured June 5th I think and missed 5or 6 weeks?? 

By Day/Month AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
April 99 18 36 9 2 7 18 14 1 23 5 0 .364 .443 .707 1.150
May 64 18 19 5 0 9 18 22 3 19 5 1 .297 .484 .797 1.281
July 54 9 17 1 0 3 9 10 0 13 2 0 .315 .422 .500 .922
August 92 26 29 3 1 8 16 27 1 21 3 2 .315 .475 .630 1.105
September 91 21 21 7 0 6 11 21 2 14 7 1 .231 .383 .505 .888
October 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Last 7 Days 14 2 3 0 0 2 2 2 0 4 0 0 .214 .313 .643 .956
Pre All-Star 163 36 55 14 2 16 36 36 4 42 10 1 .337 .461 .742 1.203
Post All-Star 239 56 68 11 1 17 36 58 3 48 12 3 .285 .429 .552 .981
By Opponent AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG O

 

August was absolutely elite, September was not good but not,worrying. But also post ASB was very good. I see 0 concern?

 

 

Do u?

No, but that's kinda my point. Trout is still going 1st overall and people aren't talking about his injury and how it might affect him going forward... but people are concerned about Betts' possible injury?

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