After a three-for-five performance that saw him reach base four times on Thursday, Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts has now managed to reach base at least once in the last 70 games he's played in. The streak began in the beginning of August of last year while Betts was still with High-A Salem, continued on through the Carolina League playoffs, and has now stretched through his first 35 games of the 2014 season with Double-A Portland. If Betts reaches base just once against the Trenton Thunder tonight in Portland, he'll have tied the record for consecutive games on-base.
That record is currently held by two former Red Sox players, Kevin Millar and Kevin Youkilis. While Millar managed the feat while with the then-Florida Marlins organization, he spent some time with the Portland Sea Dogs creating it, as they used to be a Marlins' affiliate. Youkilis likewise spent part of his streak with the Sea Dogs, meaning that somehow, despite the Eastern League not being particularly offense-heavy thanks to its chilly springs and lack of bandboxes, there could be a three-way tie for the minors' on-base record with Portland in the mix each time. That's a weird coincidence, more so even than how many Red Sox players are involved at the top here.
During Betts' streak, he's batted .409/.481/.624 with as many doubles and triples (24) as strikeouts, 30 steals in 36 chances (83 percent success), 11 homers, and 35 extra-base hits overall. He hasn't just skated by during this streak either, as, in the 70 games, he's reached base a total of 152 times, averaging comfortably over two times on base per game. It's not directly comparable because of the levels and a dozen other things that immediately spring to mind, but for purposes of getting-on-base context and nothing else, the majors' best player, Mike Trout, was on base 309 times in 157 games last year, or two per game if you round up. Not bad, Mookie.
Should you care to attend the game or watch it on MiLB.tv, it takes place at 6 pm EST at Hadlock Field in Portland. The Sea Dogs will pit Keith Couch against Betts' first challenge, Trenton Thunder right-handed Caleb Cotham.