SoxProspects News

May 27, 2014 at 6:27 AM

ESPNBoston: Betts getting work in center field

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Things are changing for Mookie Betts. Both on the field and off, Betts has had to adjust to an evolving set of circumstances brought on by his breathtaking success to start the season.

Betts, currently a member of the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, had a breakout 2013 campaign, being named the Red Sox minor league offensive player of the year after hitting .314/.417/.506 across two levels of A-ball with 15 home runs and 38 steals.

This year, he has taken that to another level. The 5-foot-8 Betts got on base in the first 35 games of the season, recording hits in all but one of those contests. His on-base streak, reaching back to last season, grew to 66 games, 71 including playoffs. He fell five games short of the minor league record of 71 regular-season games, set by two players Red Sox fans are familiar with: Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar.

From the beginning of the season until the last game of the streak on May 15, Betts hit .401/.467/.619 with six home runs and 18 stolen bases, scoring 44 runs atop the Portland lineup. Entering Monday's games, he ranked among the minor league leaders in average (.366), runs (50), hits (68), total bases (107), doubles (17) and steals (22), and has been a standout in the field at second base.

But since Dustin Pedroia signed his eight-year, $110 million extension last July, there was one nagging question that followed Betts’ gaudy numbers: How would he fit in Boston once he was ready to play in the majors?

Photo credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor

Chris Hatfield is Executive Editor of Follow him on Twitter @SPChrisHatfield.

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