Through 15 games this season, Betts is hitting .389/.493/.796 with seven doubles, five homers, 13 RBI, 19 runs, two steals and 10 walks against six strikeouts. The stat-sheet stuffer is leading the AL in runs, doubles, average, OPS and OPS+ (246). He finished second in AL MVP voting two years ago, sixth last year and is now off to an even better start.
It's a bit surprising given that he plays for the Boston Red Sox, but it's probably fair to say Betts is underrated.
As part of this very discussion on CBS Sports HQ (watch live) Wednesday, which you can see above, former Marlins president and current CBS Sports HQ analyst David Samson dropped a fun nugget on us. He said back when Betts was a prospect the Marlins tried to get him by dangling players such as Hanley Ramirez and ... Giancarlo Stanton. That's fun. He said Betts was untouchable on the Red Sox's end and now we can see why.
This had to be around the 2014 range. Remember, the Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million extension after the 2014 season. Betts debuted at age 21 in the majors during 2014, hitting .291/.368/.444 in 52 games.
What a difference a few weeks makes, too, because I feel like before this season started, many people would have said they'd rather have Stanton. Take a look at their numbers from last year, for example:
Now with Stanton hitting .197/.293/.409 with 29 strikeouts in 66 at-bats, we might have a little mind-changing, especially with the contracts. You saw Stanton's deal above. Betts is making $10.5 million this season and is in his arbitration years through 2020.