Mookie Betts had a breakout season in 2013 playing for two Red Sox minor league affiliates, the low-A Greenville Drive and the high-A Salem Red Sox. In 51 games for the latter, he tallied a .341/.414/.551 line while stealing 20 bases in 22 attempts. Many have pointed out that the transition to AA can be the toughest adjustment in a player's career, but in 18 games this season, Betts is making the transition look like child's play. He's reached in all 18 games, multiple times in 14 of them, and has multiple hits in 11 of them. His line is an outstanding .418/.455/.658 thus far, one of the best in all of the minor leagues.
With nobody special in his way at AAA Pawtucket, I wonder how long he can last at AA? Certainly a player can be "hot" over 18 games, but Betts' consistency makes it seem unlikely that he's just hot, reaching base in 45 consecutive games going back to last season.
It's worth noting that three players who also started off well in AA - Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Xander Bogaerts - lasted 66, 67, and 79 games respectively at AA. And it's also worth noting that the Red Sox are wary of rushing their young players - Betts is only 21. However, Betts appears to be off to a clearly hotter start than any of those three players had.
So I ask you ... Is there really any challenge left for Mookie Betts at AA? How many games will Betts complete at AA before being promoted to AAA?
Update on June 3, 2014: Mookie Betts just got promoted to AAA, after 54 games at AA. OTM Community, you did well. Though the most popular answer was 61-70, both the mean (58) and the median fall in the 51-60 range (the median almost being on the cusp of these two ranges). So you were off by only 4 games.
Note that Red Sox GM Ben Cherington seemed to answer my question above, "is there really any challenge left for Mookie Betts at AA?" by saying in connection with Mookie's promotion that "we have an obligation to challenge our young players when they are performing at a level where it’s not certain that they’re being challenged, it’s up to us to make sure that they’re being challenged."
I had been wondering if my answer of 41-50 might have turned out to be the correct one had the Red Sox not decided to start playing Mookie in a new position when they did, wanting to give him extra time for him to adjust to the new position before giving the added new challenge of playing in AAA. Cherington goes on to affirm that: "This conversation started a few days ago and we wanted to avoid introducing too much all at once to Mookie. We knew that, because he had started to play the outfield, we wanted to give him a little bit of time to settle in in the outfield before also introducing him to Triple-A. So, now that he’s gotten a little bit of time in the outfield and he’s gotten comfortable out there, we felt like this was the time to move him up to Pawtucket."
Congratulations, Mookie. Next step is getting added to the 40-man roster. Don't think it will happen this year unless the Sox seem poised for a playoff run and believe he could help them get there and beyond in September and October, the way Xander Bogaerts did a year ago. Mookie actually profiles a lot like Ellsbury in my opinion, who gave the Sox a boost as a late 2007 callup, and was a difference maker in their World Series run.