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Mookie Betts is on the fringe of retaining a spot on Boston's major league roster.
2014 Statistics (Double-A Portland): 253 PA/.355 BA/.994 OPS/6 HR/34 RBI
2014 Statistics (Triple-A Pawtucket): 162 PA/.319 BA/.897 OPS/5 HR/26 RBI
2014 Statistics (Majors): 44 PA/.244 BA/.645 OPS/1 HR/2 RBI
Perhaps Boston's No. 1 prospect Mookie Betts requires just a little more development before securing an unwavering spot on the team's 25-man roster.
This is understandable considering his quick rise to prominence and the fact that he is only 21 years old. Given the Red Sox's struggles in the outfield this season, Betts is simply not the end-all answer, at least not yet. He may be soon, perhaps.
Betts has been on the cusp of staying with Boston for a number of weeks now. He has been promoted up from Double-A to Triple-A, then to the majors, before being sent back down again.
He received another call-up once more, but Betts was then subsequently sent back to Triple-A on August 7, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
The move was less about Betts' performance at the big league level and more about getting him consistent playing time—an understandable decision given the Red Sox's now-crowded outfield.
This is the statement made by Abraham, who cites manager John Farrell's words.
"It’s directly related, Farrell said. “He’s a developing player and in the two stints that he’s had here with us, you can see the improvements defensively. But we didn’t want to stall that development further.”
Betts has obviously done a great job at the minor league level, but he could use the consistent playing time to further his development. Being sent back down to the minors may seem like a setback, but the benefits should pay off in time.
Betts appears to have all the tools to become the potential leadoff hitter for the Red Sox in the very near future. Boston needs this sort of production in the wake of former leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Red Sox will obviously pay close attention to his ongoing development, and we should see Betts again as a September call-up in 2014.
Stock: Neutral—Betts' stock is already pretty high, and there haven't been too many indications that it can get much higher. That will have to come with an elongated stay at the big league level or by a torrid pace set at Triple-A.
Still, there is no reason to hold back any excitement about this promising young star, and it will be interesting to see how the Red Sox work him into their future plans in 2015.
All statistics are accurate as of August 7, 2014. Statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the Boston Red Sox. Be sure to check out his entire archive on Red Sox news, insight and analysis.
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