Welcome to this week’s edition of Read Sox! This week, we’ll look at Mookie’s growth as a player and a person, Xander’s dreams and how they’re his motivation, and how you, the viewer, see the game through a center field lens.
The talented Mookie Betts is skyrocketing into stardom in his first full season with the Red Sox. Joon Lee of SB Nation takes a look into his past to see how great his future can become. It’s very impressive to see how far Betts has come to claim the starting job as Boston’s center field. He’s progressed from hitting .157 in Low-A Greenville to slashing .272/.352/.415 in just over 300 PA for the Red Sox in a relatively short amount of time. Mookie might not desire the limelight, but he’ll get it nonetheless.
Speaking of wunderkinds, Xander Bogaerts is proving to be as motivated as ever in 2015. Alex Speier of The Boston Globe explains how lofty goals are pushing Bogaerts to get even better. He’s looked much better with the glove than he ever has before – Speier notes this great throw from Monday’s game as a sign that Bogaerts is starting to come around in the field. Remember, he’s only 22 years old, still has tons of potential, and has the shortstop job all to himself. Xander Bogaerts has all the time he needs to be great.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is back with the Sox yet again, this time coming off a red-hot .315/.383/.411 stint in Pawtucket. Nevertheless, questions about how well he can hit at the major league level still linger. As Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes, JBJ has focused on his skills by toning out all the excess noise.
It hasn’t been a great month for the Red Sox rotation. The five-man unit has posted a 5.23 ERA, good for a distant 30th in the MLB. Over at CSNNE.com, Jimmy Toscano talks about Clay Buchholz being just the latest letdown in a month full of them.
In 2015, Ben Cherington has tried to create a murderer’s row of an offense, and acquired pitchers that could show marked improvement as the season went on. So far, the tough AL East has battered the Red Sox around, and as WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford notes, the tight division will be a excruciating test of patience for Cherington and the Red Sox front office.
Over at FanGraphs, the verbose Carson Cistulli went about the task of ranking of all 30 teams’ center field camera angles. The Red Sox? Their great CF camera came in seventh, while division rivals Tampa Bay and Baltimore came in sixth and ninth, respectively. It’s a bit ridiculous what some wind & water spray does to Kansas City’s camera placement, though.
Three Good Game Stories
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam writes about the pummeling the Red Sox took in Sunday’s loss to the Orioles.
Nicholas Goss at NESN goes over Monday’s walk-off win and how Mookie Betts’ fastball-seeking intuition got him the game-winning hit.
The Boston Herald‘s Jason Mastrodonato talks about how the offense did it’s best to salvage a pitching disaster in Tuesday’s loss.
Photo by Winsolow Townson/USA Today Sports Images