Boston Red Sox: Five players primed to bounce back in 2018

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: Rick Porcello /
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Boston Red Sox
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 08: Mookie Betts /

5.) Boston Red Sox: Mookie Betts

This one may seem a bit out place. 24 home runs with 102 RBI would be a good season for most players. Though not eye-popping, a .264 batting average isn’t terrible either.

But for Mookie Betts, these numbers were a significant step back from 2016.

In 2016, Betts finished second in American League MVP voting. His 31 home runs, 113 RBI, and .318 batting average in just his second full season were as impressive as it got. He seemed on track to becoming one of the league’s most dynamic, all-around superstars.

After this season, he looks more like a glorified Andrew McCutchen.

Apparently, those numbers from 2016 were going to be hard to duplicate. That’s a lot of pressure on a third-year player. His numbers weren’t bad. It’s just that the decline was apparent.

Expect Betts to have his most telling season in 2018. Since he’s already had his breakout, MVP-like campaign and one that included a decline, this upcoming season should have numbers right in between the ones he’s had in the previous two years.

Or he could put up numbers even better than the ones he had in 2016. Now that would be one heck of a comeback.