Manager Alex Cora said on Tuesday that he will flip outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts in the batting order next season, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports. In Boston’s 2018 championship season, Betts hit leadoff and Benintendi hit second. Benintendi will now lead off and Betts will bat second.
The move makes sense. While both players have speed and good on-base skills, Betts has more power, so having him come up to the plate with runners on base will help score a few extra runs over the course of a season.
Betts, who won the 2018 AL MVP Award, won the batting title, batting .346/.438/.640 with 32 home runs, 80 RBI, a major league-best 129 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases in 614 plate appearances. Benintendi, in 661 trips to the plate, hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 home runs, 87 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases.