Mookie Betts: A Top-15 Outfielder in 2016

The Boston Red Sox had a dangerous lineup, on paper. Playing with longtime Sox players, the team signed two top free agents in order to compete in the AL East. Things didn’t pan out the way they planned. However, there was one good thing that came out of the 2015 Red Sox lineup, and that is Mookie Betts. He is a five-category player and should be drafted as a top-15 outfielder next season.

Mookie Betts made is MLB debut on June 29, 2014. He played 52 games and finished with 55 hits, five home runs, 18 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .291 batting average.

He began the 2015 as the starting center fielder. In his second at-bat, he hit a home run. He played 145 games and finished with 92 runs scored, 174 hits, 18 home runs, 77 RBI, 21 stolen bases and a .291 batting average. Betts missed some time at the beginning of August, but was still able to have a great season.

Mookie Betts 11th on the Player Rater among outfielders. He finished ahead of star outfielders like Andrew McCutchenJustin Upton and Brett Gardner. Betts was the 26th outfielder drafted in ESPN leagues in the 10th round.

The ability to hit for contact and power while racking up steals made Betts a valuable asset to your fantasy team. He can easily finish with 20 HR and 20 SB while hitting close to .300. Of the 28 hitters with at least 20 stolen bases, only three of them finished with at least 20 home runs (A.J. PollockRyan Braun and Paul Goldschmidt).

Looking at the outfielders drafted ahead of Mookie Betts and where they finished on the Player Rater, there’s no question Betts should be a top-15 outfielder. Just look at some of those players. Jason Heyward, 84.2 ADP and 17th among OFs. Billy Hamilton, 58.9 and 26th. Carlos Gomez, 8.7 and 41st.

I like Mookie Betts heading into the 2016 season. He is my second-most valuable Red Sox hitter. The combination of speed, power and contact is hard to find in the middle rounds. Betts should be drafted earlier than he will be, which makes him a steal whenever he gets drafted.

Projections: 95 R, 180 H, 22 HR, 83 RBI, 24 SB, .292 BA

Draft: Round 7