At an annual high school baseball showcase at Middle Tennessee State University in June of 2010, hundreds of kids from across the state vied to impress one of the dozens of scouts on hand. Halfway through the afternoon, a 17-year-old rising senior darted from shortstop across the infield for a ball up the middle. He slid behind the bag, stretched out, spun and made a perfect behind-the-back glove flip to second.

Mookie Betts seemed different, with consistent play and a calm demeanor. His maturity and understanding of the game came with skills that made him a franchise-type player. The kind of kid, the Red Sox targeted in the 2011 draft.

Mookie blended into any team seamlessly, but stood out athletically in school. He has always had an innate ability to observe something and then imitate it, sometimes better than he was shown. He soon was sought for several colleges and eventually committed to play at Tennessee, where he batted .549 as a junior and then hit .509 as a senior. Draft day arrived and the Sox drafted him in the fifth round and just before midnight on deadline day, he signed.

Mookie transitioned to the Lowell Spinners the following season and it wasn't smooth. He hit .267 in 71 games for the Spinners in 2012. He advanced to Single-A Greenville to start the 2013 season, and there everything changed. He finished the season as the Red Sox minor league offensive "Player of the Year" and started 2014 in Double-A Portland. After 54 games, he moved to the PawSox, where he began a move from second base to center field. After a call-up in August, he stayed in Boston for good.

Mookie was particularly hard on himself after a rookie mistake caught stealing third base, with his team behind by one run, in early July. When he crashed into the wall in center field at Fenway in June 2015, he was hitting .237. He tweaked his leg, sat out two games, but more than that, he used the time to analyze how and why he was struggling at the plate. He asked Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz for advice and then he implemented.

Mookie returned to the lineup, raised his average to .277 and was named the AL "Player of the Week" for the week ending in June 2015. Within that week, he batted .581 (18 for 31) with two home runs, two triples, three doubles, seven RBI and eight runs. He ended the 2015 season with a .291 batting average, with 77 RBIs, 18 home runs, and 21 stolen bases.

In 2016, Mookie developed into an AL MVP candidate in just his second full season. He became the seventh player in history to have 200 hits, 40 doubles, 30 homers and 20 steals and he eclipsed each benchmark with room to spare.

In May, he launched a grand slam in the Sox’ 9-1 win. It was an exclamation point on a career day for him, as he went 3 for 5 with two homers with a career-high five RBIs. It was the third multi-homer game of his career. A double in the third made him the third Sox player this season to pick up three extra-base hits in a single game.

On the final day of the month, he clubbed three homers at Camden Yards. The next night, he homered in his first two at-bats, for the second straight night and now had five in his last two games, tying a major league record. He became the third Red Sox player who had ever hit five homers over a two-game stretch.

As July started, he went 3 for 4, giving him a major-league leading 34 multi-hit games that season and was named to the American League All Star team. He was then named AL "Player of the Month" for July.

On August 1st, Mookie's shot to left field, leading off the ninth inning, gave the Red Sox a 2-1 victory at Safeco Field. At Dodger Stadium, a few days later, he was 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs. The next week, he provided four hits, three homers, eight RBIs in a 16-2 win against the Diamondbacks at Fenway Park.

Back at Camden Yards, he slugged two more home runs, the second to win the game for the Sox in the eighth inning. He drove in all five runs, had hit five home runs and 13 RBIs in the last three games.

The 2016 Red Sox lost five of their last six games and were swept in the ALDS. But it didn't diminish Mookie's truly extraordinary performance throughout the season. He finished his season with a .318 BA, 214 hits, 122 runs, 113 RBIs, 31 homers, 26 steals, 78 extra-base hits, and 359 total bases.

Mookie's production at the plate in 2017 took a nose-dive. He hit .264 but led the Sox in home runs with 24, which isn't saying much for a team that ranked dead last in the league in that category. But he still provided plenty of value with his glove. His 31 defensive runs saved were the most among major league outfielders and second most at any position.

In 2018, Mookie made the leap from being an All-Star to entering the conversation of the best player in baseball. He would end up leading the league in several categories winning the AL MVP.

He won the AL batting title with a career-high .346 average, led the league with 129 runs scored, 84 extra-base hits, and a .640 SLG. He was second in the league with 47 doubles. It was the second time in his career that he’d hit 40+ doubles, 5+ triples, and 30+ home runs. The only other Red Sox hitter to do that twice was Ted Williams. He also won his third Gold Glove award, making it three consecutive seasons as the league’s top defensive right fielder.

In April 2018, Mookie hit three home runs to lead the Red Sox to a 10–1 win over the Los Angeles Angels. It was the third three-homer game of his career, tying him with Ted Williams for the most in Red Sox history. He broke the tie with Williams and set the franchise record in May, hitting three home runs in a 5–4 win over the Kansas City Royals and became the first player in MLB history to produce four three-homer games before the age of 26.

On July 6th, he hit his 22nd home run of the season, the 100th of his MLB career and became the fourth Red Sox player to hit 100 home runs before turning 26, the others being Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice, and Ted Williams. He was named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game as an American League starting outfielder.

In a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in August, he hit for the cycle. In September, he stole his 30th base of the season, becoming just the second player in Red Sox history to join the 30–30 club, since Jacoby Ellsbury did it in 2011.

The Red Sox cruised to a World Series title but Mookie only hit .210 in 14 postseason games. The low-light of his postseason saw him go 0-for-7 during the 18-inning marathon in Game #3 of the World Series.

Mookie posted good numbers in 2019, but too much of his production came when it didn't matter, after the Sox were eliminated from contention. He batted .295, with 29 homers and 80 RBIs, but for much of the year he was invisible for too long, when the team needed him to be a catalyst.

In February 2020, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.