BOSTON — Mookie Betts is in the midst of a dream season, and he doesn’t plan on waking up anytime soon.
The Red Sox outfielder reached another milestone Monday night at Fenway Park in his very first at-bat against the Tampa Bay Rays. Betts hammered an 0-2 fastball from Rays starter Matt Andriese that deflected high off a sign atop the Green Monster in left field for a solo home run.
It was the MVP candidate’s 30th long ball of the season, a remarkable feat for a 5-foot-9, 180-pound converted outfielder who entered 2016 with 23 homers over one and a half seasons.
The blast, which traveled an estimated 402 feet, also put Betts in some pretty rare air.
Ted Williams’ 1941 campaign, of course, saw the Splendid Splinter bat a major league-record .406 with 37 homers and 120 RBIs at just 22 years old. Tony Conigliaro blasted 32 homers to go along with 82 RBIs in 1965 at age 20.
Betts won’t touch Williams in the batting average department, but with 95 RBIs through 128 games, he could match the Red Sox icon’s 1941 power numbers.
Betts, who turns 24 in October, also has 21 steals on the year, and with Monday’s dinger joined Carl Yazstremski, Nomar Garciaparra and Jacoby Ellsbury as the four Red Sox players with 30 homers and 20 steals in a single season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images