If you were to, say, create a leaderboard of American League outfielders and, by chance, order it by on-base percentage, your list would feature Mike Trout in the top spot. Obviously. The next player on the list, more than 30 points ahead of the number three qualified outfielder, might surprise you. Because it is Daniel Nava, the increasingly valuable Red Sox outfielder.
Archive for the ‘Boston Red Sox’ Category
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, Trendspotting on Sep 06, 2013
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, Prospectin' on Jul 18, 2013
The Futures game is a tidy little treat snuck into the beginning of the All Star break. Buried on Sunday afternoon when there is still real baseball to talk about, this year’s edition of the Futures Game featured many of the top prospects in the game. Like the actual All Star game, the Futures game is a revolving door of mid-game replacements and starting pitchers airing it out in one inning stints.
The big names are known to baseball wonks and prospect watchers but rarely to many fans get to see these players ply their trade. Outside the odd Spring Training cameo, it rare to catch of glimpse of most minor leaguers, let alone so much of the top baseball talent in the world in the same place at the same time.
When all the minor league talent came together last week, it was Xander Bogaerts who stole the show. The Red Sox shortstop prospect built on his great first half by putting his many skills on display for a national audience. It is becoming very apparent to those who follow other teams in the American League: Xander Bogaerts is about to become a major thorn in your side.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, HardBall Talkin', New York Yankees, Vernon Wells on Jun 03, 2013
And with that Earth-shaking thunderclap, Vernon Wells‘ OBP dipped below .300. Even though they all knew it was coming, it STILL scared the Yankees Scarier yet: they have to keep playing him.
Tease as we might, the Yankees got all they needed out of Vernon Wells. They stayed above water when all their starters were out. The inevitable regression (at the speed of sound, apparently) won’t surprise anyone, least of all the Yankees front office who saw their best case scenario play out.
Now, if they have to continue relying on him, well that’s a whole ‘nother matter.
Posted by Matt Klaassen under Boston Red Sox, Fogging The Measure on May 16, 2013
Way back in 2002, when Jason Giambi was in his first season with the Yankees after signing (for the time) a huge free agent contract, people doubted him. Filling the Super-Big Shoes of Tino Martinez is a bid deal; a core Yankee and close personal friend of Derek Jeter, after all.
Giambi got off to a slow start in New York in that first season. Well, “slow” being a relative term. Giambi was hitting “only” .282/.378/.456 (126 wRC+) at the end of April, which spelled disaster for many scribes following the Yankees. Of course, Giambi ended the season with at .314/.435/.598 (175 wRC+)… but midway through May (and he killed it in May, anyway, with a 206 wRC+) people were grumbling.
Then came the May 17 game against the Twins in New York. In bottom of the 14th inning, late at night with the rain coming down and very few people left in the stands, the Yankees were down 12-9. The bases were loaded as Giambi (already 3-7 on the night) came to the plate. Giambi drilled the first pitch from Mike Trombley over the wall for an extra-innings, come-from-behind, walkoff grand slam. The “Giambi has finally earned his pinstripes” stuff started right away, naturally. I am not sure it took, given that Giambi would be the subject of grumbling over the next few years with injuries, PED stuff, and, of course, the Yankees failure to win a World Series with him on the team. Never mind that he hit .260/.404/.521 with 209 homers with the Yankees (Don Mattingly himself only hit 222 in his own Yankees career, and in about twice as many plate appearances). Whether or not it finally took, at the time of the grand slam, at least, it was hyped as Giambi’s Big True Yankee Moment, one which still has resonance.
Although it was not nearly as dramatic in just about any dimension: expectations, contracts, or game situation, but last night, shortstop Stephen Drew may have become a True Red Sock in somewhat similar fashion with a grand slam. Sure, it happened in the top of the third with the Sox already up 4-0, but it still generated a reaction.
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, News And Notes on May 07, 2013
As discussed in today’s link dump (and on the podcast), the Red Sox bullpen is in a state of upheaval. Both players to serve as their capital-C Closer this season are hurt, with Andrew Bailey on the disabled list and Joel Hanrahan possibly headed there as well.
Because relievers abhor role uncertainty like nature abhors a vacuum, Sox manager John Farrell told MLB Network radio (via Over the Monster) today that Junichi Tazawa will get the nod as the new man in the ninth inning. Tazawa has sparkling numbers, not just this season but last year also. As Dave Cameron notes in his very interesting post on the impact of Asian pitchers, Tazawa has a 65/8 strikeout to walk ratio since the start of the 2012 season.
Tazawa is a fine choice for closer, though the official Getting Blanked candidate Koji Uehara might be better. Uehara is a much older man, one requiring a little bit more finesse in terms of his usage and rest patterns. Junichi Tazawa is much younger (just 26 compared to Uehara’s 38 years-awesome) and should be able to handle the three-days-in-a-row rigors of closing better than the artfully-deployed Uehara.
As stated previously, the Red Sox bullpen will still be fine – losing two good pitchers hurts any team but having two other good pitchers to rely on cushions the blow quite a bit. To the fantasy waiver wire we go!
Posted by Drew Fairservice under Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, My Approach on May 02, 2013
Dustin Pedroia has been one of the better players in baseball over the last five seasons. Since the start of the 2008 season, Dustin Pedroia is in the top ten for position player fWAR, posting a .304/.373/.467 line with 80 home runs over that time. His .366 wOBA trails just Robinson Cano and Chase Utley among qualified second baseman.
I don’t know if the word “pure hitter” applies to Pedroia but it seems apt to me: he doesn’t strike out very much and he makes excellent use of his home ballpark, crashing doubles into the Green Monster like few Red Sox before him.
Dustin Pedroia is the subject of the latest edition of My Approach, discussing his “make something from nothing” two strike approach, using a high tee and making the most of his less-than-strapping frame.
Posted by Scott Lewis under Boston Red Sox, Jose Reyes, News And Notes on May 02, 2013
According to a story from WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the Boston Red Sox had engaged in conversations with the Miami Marlins in an effort to acquire Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson. Both Reyes and Johnson, of course, became Toronto Blue Jays this past winter when the Marlins went into fire sale mode. The two former Marlins were part of a package that also included Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck heading to Toronto in exchange for Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis and Anthony Desclafani.
The discussions between the Red Sox and Marlins, according to Bradford’s source, included Bonifacio (“if needed”), but apparently excluded both Buehrle and Buck. The Red Sox were reportedly unwilling to part ways with super prospect Xander Bogaerts, which effectively killed the potential for a deal to be made.