American League MVP Award candidate Mookie Betts stole his 30th base of the season on Wednesday afternoon as the Red Sox took on the Orioles. Betts walked to lead off the second inning against Donnie Hart, then swiped second base. He was stranded, but it didn’t matter much as the Red Sox lead 10-3 as of this writing.
Betts joins the Indians’ José Ramírez in the 30/30 club this season. The two are the first members of the 30/30 club since Mike Trout and Ryan Braun in 2012. Their 30/30 seasons are the 24th and 25th since 2000, and Betts’ is the 61st all-time.
Betts, who is 2-for-2 as this is published, entered the afternoon batting a major league best .343, slugging a major league best .639, and has scored a major league-high 125 runs. He also has a .434 on-base percentage, 32 home runs, 80 RBI, and 46 doubles. According to Baseball Reference, he has accrued 10.7 Wins Above Replacement, the highest total since Barry Bonds put up 11.8 in 2002.
Thanks in large part to Betts’ efforts, the Red Sox are on their way to their 107th win of the season. The previous high in team history was 105 set way back in 1912. The Red Sox will face the winner of the AL Wild Card game (Yankees or Athletics) in the ALDS and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.
Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.
Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.
Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.