The age-old question has resurfaced once again … would you rather have Mookie Betts or Mike Trout? Only in Boston can such a ridiculous question be posed.
With the Boston Red Sox in Los Angeles dominating the Angels, The Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo took the opportunity to pose a question that even the most intelligent baseball minds wouldn’t be able to answer unanimously.
Mookie Betts or Mike Trout: Who gets the nod? https://t.co/duyDi7aGno
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 18, 2018
Let’s be clear, I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m objective when it comes to writing about the New York Yankees because I’m not. I am a Yankees fan. I write my articles for other Yankees fans. So yes, sometimes I may have my pinstripe glasses on and see the best of a Yankees situation rather than the worst.
I also believe the age of “unbiased journalism” is over and fans are going to flock to in-depth coverage of their own teams because it’s growing increasingly accessible.
So, when I see other articles that skew towards the writer’s team, I don’t say, “that person’s opinion is irrelevant because they’re biased.” I say, “that person is looking at a situation with his team and how it will work out in a positive way for them.”
But even as a Red Sox writer, posing the question that Mookie Betts is someone that you would rather have over Mike Trout is just absolutely ridiculous.
Yes, Betts is a great player. He puts the bat on the ball, he plays great defense, he runs well, and he’s clearly hitting for power this year after smacking three home runs in the first game of the series with the Angels. The fact that the Red Sox outfielder is one of my least favorite players in the league should be plenty of proof as to how highly I regard his ability.
But Mookie Betts is not Mike Trout.
Mike Trout is the prototype baseball player. If you operated a baseball lab with the sole mission of spitting out true five-tool players, Trout is the blueprint. He plays in his own stratosphere of which only a handful, Betts included, are able to sniff.
Not only is Trout unequivocally better than everyone else in the league, he is consistently great every year. In his eight major league seasons, Trout has come in fourth or better every year in the MVP race but his first, in which he only played 40 games. Even the fourth place finish in 2017 only happened because he missed nearly 50 games with injury. Every other year in which he has played a full season, he finished either first or second.
If Mike Trout was given the MVP award every single year that he was eligible, nobody would even think twice about it.
Sure, Betts is a great player. He’s going to have a great career, likely at the expense of the Yankees and other AL East foes. But to even consider taking him over Mike Trout is absolutely ridiculous. And to Cafardo’s credit, he acknowledged that Trout was better, even if he did a caveat that Betts was closing the gap quickly.
I have a hard time imagining a scenario where Mookie Betts surpasses Mike Trout in anything besides gut-wrenching losses to the New York Yankees.