Why Mookie Betts is NOT the LeBron James of Baseball
When the words came out of his mouth, my mouth nearly hit the floor. The words, just hearing them or even saying them out loud didn't sit well with me.
Now, don't get me wrong, Mookie Betts is a phenomenal player and any team would absolutely LOVE to have him on their team. He's really an all-around player who brings many things to a team, on the field and off.
However, if there's any comparison to LeBron James baseball-wise it would have to be Mike Trout, no?
Am I wrong? Am I crazy?
See, say it out loud, that just sounds better, doesn't it? Okay, well it at least does for me, hopefully, we're on the same page there.
Even Mike Trout doesn't have the cache that James does because Trout's only 29, about six years, and change the junior of "The King".
It's also just difficult in general to make a comparison between a baseball and basketball player. In baseball, an immense amount of individual success doesn't necessarily entail that your team will be any good or qualify for the playoffs.
There's really no better example of that than Mike Trout. During Trout's 10 year career he's finished in the top five for American League MVP eight of nine years (this season hasn't been voted on yet) while winning three times and finished runner-up four times.
And how many times has he played in the postseason? Once and he and the Angels were swept in three straight games.
In basketball, if you're one of the best players in the league you're generally in the mix for the postseason year in and year out unless your team is completely dysfunctional as the Sacramento Kings were when DeMarcus Cousins was balling out.
As I mentioned, Mookie Betts is an extraordinarily gifted player and the only slight comparison I can render to make the argument to LeBron is that Mookie could be considered a slightly more well-rounded player because of his defense.
Betts has won four Gold Glove Awards while Trout hasn't won any, although, Trout has won a Wilson Overall Defensive Player of the Year back in 2012 (yet no Gold Glove...weird). Betts did win one of those Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards as well back in 2016 when he did actually win a Gold Glove (see, that makes sense).
Also, Trout plays center field which is widely considered the most difficult outfield position while Betts, outside of his first two years, has played mostly right field, which he does extremely well.
To me, there just isn't a baseball equivalent to LeBron James, the comparison doesn't work. All three are great players but I'm not buying the James-Betts comparison, James-Trout would be the only one I would consider as a current player comparison.
What say you? Drop me a comment and give me your feelings on the subject, is there a baseball comparison to LeBron or should the comparisons just not be made between the two sports?