The first two months of the Major League Baseball season have been kind to Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts.
An offensive outburst to open the season has catapulted the right fielder to the top of the leaderboard in numerous offensive categories, among them home runs, hits, batting average and doubles.
The success the slugger is having could be attributed to a number of things, but the philosophy to be aggressive early in counts, something Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers and assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett have harped on, may be the most important of them all.
During an appearance on WEEI’s “Bradfo Sho,” Betts cited the philosophy shift and other polished hitters around him as the source of his offensive success this season.
“I’ve always wanted to learn, I’ve always wanted to get better and whatnot I just didn’t know how. The will to get better was always there, it was just a matter of finding the source,” Betts said. “And I’m not saying (former hitting coach Chili Davis) and the last crew didn’t help, because they definitely did, but this crew here now is just a different point of view that maybe hits home for me a little better.
“Obviously, I’m trying to be more aggressive swinging, and with J.D. (Martinez) and Timmy and Andy, they’ve been kind of the main ones helping me as far as the type of swing and what I’ve learned through my swing and how to get the most out of it. Hanley (Ramirez) has been a big part in this whole process too. I think I found the sources to kind of help me with what I’m supposed to be learning.”
In 43 games this season, Betts is showing that his true offensive capabilities may be more similar to what he put on display in 2016 than 2017. And while there’s plenty of season left in 2018, Betts has been showcasing why he’s one of the best in the game.