April stats can be a funny thing: Even when you think you have a bead on a player’s skill set, it’s easy to get nervous at the start of the season, when all you have to go on are a few weeks’ worth of current-season stats, plus the memory of whatever happened before. So when Mookie Betts followed a sensational 2016 campaign in which he finished second in AL MVP voting by hitting just two homers in his first 27 games of the season (with a forgettable batting line of .267/.342/.400), you had to wonder when (and maybe if!) Betts would get back to what we’d seen just a few months earlier.
Wonder no more. On Sunday, Betts was a one-man wrecking crew against the Jays. The 24-year-old, do-it-all right fielder went 4 for 6 for the game, driving in eight (eight!) runs. In doing so, Betts lofted his 14th and 15th homers of the season, giving him 13 in his past 52 games, after that tortoise-like slow start. He’s now hitting an excellent .286/.364/.506 for the season.
And while the Red Sox can claim multiple reasons for going 26–14 in their past 40 games to take over first place in the AL East, Betts reminding all of us that Aprils (and sometimes even Mays) can be terribly misleading ranks right near the top of the list.