Mookie Betts is On Fire

Kyle Koster

Mookie Betts’ numbers through 27 games are shocking. The Boston Red Sox outfielder touts a slash line of .370/.449/.850. His 12th home run of the season, hit yesterday, brought his total from the leadoff spot during his career to 69, tying him with Dom DiMaggio for the franchise record. Betts has done it in about 1/3rd of the games DiMaggio required.

It’s only mid-May, but Betts once again appears on track to compete for the American League MVP. He finished 6th last year after being the runner-up in 2016. The Red Sox are flourishing with the best record in all of baseball. Their long and formidable lineup has been kick-started by the man at the top of it.

Perhaps no stat puts Betts’ blistering start in context than this.

That is absurd.

Betts’ slugging and OPS figures will surely come back to Earth a bit. For now they are in rarefied air. Only Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds have put together full seasons like Betts’ partial one. And any time a player’s production can be put alongside those names, it’s special. Any time an OPS figure flirts with 1.300, one has to rub their eyes and wonder if they’re seeing things — or just seeing a player on fire.