The Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1 – The Hitters: 2014 Preview
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The Red Sox embark on a chance to repeat a World Series win for the 3rd time in 10 years. 2005 didn’t work out so well, and Boston narrowly missed in the 2008 ALCS (TB won 4 – 3).
This year, the teams brass has decided the 2014 Roster is a lot like the 2013 Roster, and then you add in the mix of a bunch of youngsters.
While they gave SS Stephen Drew a 1 YR/$14.1 MIL Qualifying Offer which he doth refused.
Positional Red Sox Players 2014
Everything broke right for Boston in 2013, but they were full value for their World Series Title last year.
The Red Sox are still smart not to have doled out $153 MIL over 7 years for the injury prone Ellsbury.
In CF, they may try to start the year with Grady Sizemore. At 32 years of old, he has not seen any action in the MLB since 2011 due to injury, and has only played 104 Games since 2009.
For the fist time in years, he looks healthy.
If he can just put forth 80% of what he used to be, you are talking about a player that has a .269/.357/.473, that averaged about 25 HRs and 30 SB back in the day.
He will likely not approach that, but maybe he can hit .270/.340/.425 – with some powers as long as he can remain healthy.
Sizemore’s last significant year in 2009, saw him crack 44 XBH in 106 Games with a .788 OPS.
If the former Indian can’t play for any health reasons, than it will have only cost the team 750K anyways.
Jackie Bradley JR. is 2nd on the Depth Chart for the position. This guy has had a solid Minor League Career thus far, and it is time to take the next leap.
In 819 lifetime MiLB AB, he has slashed .297/.404/.471 with 20 HRs and 101 RBI. This projects a great plate discipline if only he can bring his BA better this campaign.
I would think Bradley could hit .260/.350/.400 – with speed, great defense and double digit HR power this year.
In RF, Shane Victorino will be entering his 11th MLB year. The question is whether or not he will be healthy for the opening of the season.
He is fighting hamstrings, a strained back, and is coming off of thumb surgery. A World Series hero last season, Victorino has a solid 2013 campaign.
He finished 22 in AL MVP Voting, hauled in his 4th Gold Glove Award, and carried an .801 OPS, based on a .294 BA in 122 Games Played.
Had Victorino been healthy for the duration of the season, he would have scored over 100 Runs too, he ended the year with 82 in 477 AB.
The ‘Flying Hawaiian” also led the American League in HBP with 18. This guy is a professional hitter, and knows how to get on base.
Victorino will be closer to his .277/.342/.432 3 slash for his career, or worse if he hits the field in 2014. Age is catching up to him.
Jonny Gomes finds himself on playoff teams every year. From donning playoff beards everywhere he goes, or infecting the clubhouse with a great attitude, he is a good luck charm.
He has made the playoffs with the Reds, A’s and Red Sox of late, and was hurt when the Rays went to the World Series in 2008.
Gomes has 591 AB over the last 2 years, where he has posted 31 HRs and 99 RBI, while also scoring 95 runs.
This is great production from a 4th OF in Oakland and Boston for the 2012 and 2013 years respectively.
Gomes has a career .879 OPS versus LHP, and typically has better 1st half’s of the year (.807 OPS pre ALL – Star compared to the 2nd half (.766 OPS Post ALL – Star.)
This guy is a dynamite value at just $5 MIL salary this campaign.
Daniel Nava is slated to win the LF position to start the year for Boston.
It took him until he was 30 until he was able to be a full-time player in the MLB.
Early in 2013, when Ortiz was hurt for the 1st 15 Games of the year, Daniel Nava was off to a hot start. By June.30, the man had 10 HRs and was among the league leaders with 49 RBI.
As the season carried on, Ellsbury, Gomes and Victorino took more of the playing time, and Nava was able to plate just 17 more RBI after July.
This year, he will be given an opportunity to prove he can stick for good as an everyday LF. Nava could also see some time at 1B.
I am projecting him to hit .275/.370/.420 – with 15 HRs and 80 RBI.
Forget about David Ortiz hitting in Spring Training, he is not fully concentrating. I fully expect him to put forth .290/.400/.500 – with 29 HRs and 90 RBI this year.
Believe it or not, this will be a small step down from the last few years he has put forth. I think clubs start walking him and force other to beat them instead.
Mike Carp was one of the best under the radar moves the management pulled off last year.
Like Nava, he pulled the bootstraps up and got to work in the 1st half of the year, slashing .303/.369/.606 – with 8 HRs and 27 RBI in the 1st half.
This guy was a super Utility guy that put some thunder into his stick. I certainly bet the Mariners wished they never sold him for cash.
It wasn’t like the man hadn’t shown any promise during his time in Seattle. His time in the PAC NW saw him carry a .740 OPS – with 18 HRs in 545 AB.
Carp’s production for just 216 2013 AB is fantastic at 9 HRs and 43 RBI. John Farrell used him wisely vs RHP, where he sported a .904 OPS in 190 AB.
I would expect more of the same from the 27 Year Old originally from Long Beach, CA in 2014. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he amassed more Plate Appearances this upcoming season.
Carp’s 2014 outlook. 300 PA, 10 HRs, 42 RBI and a .800 OPS. He may draw in against some tough Righties when the club wants to give Mike Napoli a day off.
The squad had a .639 Win Pctg in games he was part of (55 – 31).
Speaking of Napoli, he played his 1st full year out in the Infield in 2013, after serving as Catcher and DH for the majority of his career.
The Red Sox curbed his 3 YR deal because of injury concerns, but the burly 1B – collected 23 HRs and 92 RBI in his 139 GP for last year’s club.
The former Angel and Rangers player, also whiffed 187 times, but all is forgiven when you carry a .842 OPS for the season.
Napoli propelled out of the starting blocks during the clubs 1st 26 games, plating 27 RBI. Much like Carp, the team fared at a great winning percentage with him in the lineup (.604, with 84 – 55 record.)
The 220 LB from Hollwyood, FLA originally, also has made the playoffs 6 out of the last 7 years, and has hit at least 20 HRs for 7 straight seasons.
Perhaps, nothing was as crucial as his late 7th inning HR off of Tigers Starter Justin Verlander in a 1 – 0 win for the Sox over the Tigers in Game #3 of the ALCS.
Napoli would HR again in Game #5. This guy has been one of the clutchest players on the planet the last half a dozen years.
Napoli will hit 25 HRs and drive in 95 RBI in about 500 AB in 2014, with an OPS of .850.
Dustin Pedroia had a mashed up hand – and still played incredible baseball in 2013. He finished with a 3 Slash of .301/.372/.415 with 84 RBI while leading the AL with 724 PA.
The gritty Second Baseman’s efforts resulted in a 7th in AL MVP Voting, and he reeled in his 3rd Gold Glove Award for his position.
I would think Pedroia would have some more pop in 2014 with a healed hand. I am going to predict a .299/.365/.440 slash line, with 20 HRs, 40 – 2B’s and 90 RBI.
I also think the 8 year Veteran will surpass 100 Runs.
Xander Bogaerts will be looking for his 1st full season in the MLB after winning a title in his 1st action in the bigs. He is still just 21 Years Old.
This guy has to be one of the favorites to take home the AL Rookie Of The Year trophy. I think he will hit .275/.340/.410 – with double digit HRs and around 35 – 40 2B.
This team would love for him to possess these kind of numbers.
After 2 years with Boston, Will Middlebrooks has 32 HRs and 103 RBI in 615 AB. This is about 1 year’s worth of AB.
I think .260/.310/.490 with 28 HRs and 88 RBI sounds about right for 2014.
At Catcher, tried and trusted A.J. Pierzynski will see the lionshare of the pitches thrown. This guy is also a winner, and the White Sox sorely missed him in 2013.
The 16 Year Veteran knows how to call a game, is a fiery competitor, and has a nice stick when it counts the most.
A lifetime .283/.322/.428 is really good when you consider the workload this guy has endured. He has played in at least 128 games or more for the last 12 seasons.
Pierzynski may have fallen a little bit from is 2012 Silver Slugger form, but this guy is a professional hitter. I expect him to enjoy the confines of Fenway Park.
.270/.320/.400 – with 15 HRs and 60 RBI is definitely attainable.
World Series hero David Ross is a great 2nd Catcher for Pierzynski, as he can go behind the plate once or twice a week or versus LHP – where had a .804 OPS last year.
Having a pair of 37 Year Old Catchers last the whole year may be tough, so Ryan Lavarnway may be called on several times for the upcoming campaign.
Jonathan Herrera will serve as a Utility Infielder that can play 3B/SS or 2B this year.
It is good to know Herrera has a lifetime BA of .265, with hitting .266 at Coors Field, but also batting .265 on the road for his career thus far.
With a potential bench of Herrera, Carp, Ross and Bradley JR. or Sizemore, this team still has some depth.
This team should be among the best lineup in baseball, and definitely score a pile of runs this season.
In Part 2 tomorrow, we look at the Pitchers and the team projections for 2014 here.
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Bonus Red Sox Chat with Baseball Podcaster and Red Sox Fan ‘Sully’
Red Sox fanatic and actress Hilary Barraford, from John Sayles’ Go For Sisters, is the guest for today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
We discussed staying loyal to a team 3,000 miles away, how greedy Boston sports fans have become, and why I should refer to her as “Your Honor.”
Posted on March 20, 2014, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged 2004 World Series, 2007 World Series, 2008 ALCS, 2013 ALCS, 2013 World Series, 2014 MLB previews: Boston Red Sox, 25 man roster Boston red sox 2014, 40 man roster Boston Red Sox 2014, a.j. pierzynski, AL East, American league, boston red sox, boston red sox hitters 2014 MLB, chicago white sox, cleveland indians, daniel nava, david ortiz, david ross, detroit tigers, dustin pedroia, fenway park, grady sizemore, Jackie Bradley Jr., jacoby ellsbury, jarrod saltalamacchia, john farrell, Jonathan Herrera, Jose Iglesias, justin verlander, mike carp, mike napoli, new england patriots, ryan lavarnway, seattle mariners, shane victorino, st louis cardinals, stephen drew, texas rangers, will middlebrooks, xander bogaerts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.