Overall, it’s been something of a disappointing start to the year for Mookie Betts. Last year’s MVP runner-up hasn’t really hit for power at all in
2016 2017, and while he’s hitting .286 with a .375 on-base percentage he’s still only two percent better than the league average hitter, per wRC+. Of course, he’s missed time with the flu and it’s absurdly early in the year. He will hit, and he will hit well.
One thing Betts has been able to do in the early going is avoid striking out. In fact, this is a trend that started at the end of last year. Counting only regular season play*, Betts has not struck out since September 12 of last year. That is 110 plate appearances since his last strikeout. The apt description for a streak like this is: Bananas.
*He did strike out once when the team was swept by Cleveland in three games in the ALDS.
Yesterday, he surpassed Wade Boggs (who was obviously a great baseball player but also the subject of one of the best Always Sunny episodes) on the all-time Red Sox list, and not he’s chasing Juan Pierre, who has the longest streak since the turn of the century. We’ll have to wait a bit for that, as Pierre’s streak lasted 147 plate appearances. The offense hasn’t really been what we’ve expected thus far, but they still have the same talent they’ve ever had. Betts’ ability to make contact nearly every time he comes to the plate is a prime example of that, and it’s an exciting little side game to watch while the actual game is being played.