Scott Hairston Could Fit Into The Red Sox’ Plans

With Cody Ross‘s departure looking more likely by the day, the Red Sox really need to look into more corner outfield options for 2013 and beyond. Unless the front office plans on having Daniel Nava (.243/.352/.390) and Ryan Kalish (.229/.272/.269) starting at premium offensive positions, they’ll need to plug a few holes. One player on the market looks like an excellent stopgap option, as he hits for power from the right side and may very well be a reincarnation of the man he’s replacing. That player is Scott Hairston.

Aug 25, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets left fielder Scott Hairston (12) singles to center during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Citi Field. Mets won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

After a number of subpar seasons to start his career, the 32 year old Hairston really put it all together in 2012. In just 377 at bats, he hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 home runs and 25 doubles in Citi Field, a notorious pitcher’s park. Although he had never really been a starting player in his career, the power has always been there for Hairston (.202 career isolated power) despite playing pitcher’s parks for much of his career. His acquisition would prevent a potential power outage in a Red Sox lineup featuring very few power bats.

Hairston would fit well into the Red Sox lineup because of his skill at mashing left-handers. He could nicely complement the big left-handed bats in the Red Sox lineup like Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (although he is a switch-hitter, he is neutralized by lefties). Hairston posted a .286/.317/.550 slash line against lefties in 2012, and those numbers would only grow in Fenway Park.

Defensively, Hairston is not fantastic at any outfield position. However, he is decent in left field, where he posted a 5.7 UZR/150 in 2012. With the Green Monster behind him to cover up his lack of speed, Hairston probably would be solid enough to hold down a starting spot, especially given his competition (or lack thereof).

Hairston is not a great player, but he is a very solid stopgap option. The Red Sox probably won’t contend in 2013 anyway, but Hairston could be a bright spot as fans wait for the arrival of Bryce Brentz and Jackie Bradley. As a right-handed power bat, there’s a good chance that he could push the 20 or 25 home run mark again in 2013. He would come cheap, maybe for a 1 year/$5 million deal and he’d probably be worth it. If nothing else, they could flip him for prospects at the trading deadline.



Topics: Boston Red Sox, Scott Hairston

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  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    With all due respect, no way…he’s not an everyday player, period. He’s never played more than 117 games in his 8 year career besides last year. His 95 homeruns in that timeframe is hardly “mashing” anything. We already have a stable full of platoon players, why add another? Flip him at the break? for what? Cody Ross makes more sense, for a little more money (your figure of $5 million for Harriston, figure Ross to get 2/16 or 3/24)…he (Hariston) made a cool 1.1 million last year….he had an ok year, but hardly deserves a 500% raise. If they could buy low on him as a super utility guy, I could see it…but like I said, we have those type guys on the roster now. (If the sox are truly going to make this a bridge year, I would just as soon see Kalish for a full season). Just my humble opinion, and again, no disrespect intended.

    • Conor Duffy

      No offense taken, but Hairston put up very solid numbers in 2012 and I can see him putting up Ross-like stats (lower average and OBP, but similar power and defense) for a much cheaper price while the prospects develop.

      • Michael Macaulay-Birks

        Cody Ross, Delmon Young, Grady Sizemore are a few of the “bridge” type players that would command a similar price…and they could actually be “flipped” if need be….I love your use of advanced metrics…they are a great tool, but aren’t the be all/end all when it comes to evaluating players. As far as harriston goes, hes a great 4th outfield point is that we already have several of those in the system. If it’s a brigde year (which I don’t believe) why not run Kalish out there….his minor league advanced metrics are nice, and we haven’t seen him healthy for long enough to form a finite opinion. finally, the trade possibilities are endless for the Red Sox because their wealth of decent prospects….I’m personally hoping for an Alex Gordon/Josh Hamilton duo at the corners!

        • Conor Duffy

          I’d love the Red Sox to sign Ross or possibly Young, but Hairston is a viable backup plan.

  • John Fahrer

    Bad OBP. He did hit 20 homers playing his home games in a hitter’s hell. Makes you wonder if he was dabbling in something…

    • Conor Duffy

      The OBP is a bit of a concern, but the power is definitely real. Like I said, he has a .202 career ISO, but just hasn’t gotten much playing time before this year.

      • John Fahrer

        Wouldn’t have a problem acquiring Hairston, but just like the Brandon McCarthys and Shaun Marcums of this FA class, there’s better options to pursue beforehand.

  • Eric De Caro

    are we the freaken Royals or Miami here??? Quit bargain shopping

    • Conor Duffy

      The Red Sox had a worse record than the Royals and equal to Miami in 2012. 2013 should be a bridge year where they focus on the future, so in a way, yes.

      • Michael Macaulay-Birks

        who says it is a bridge year? Certainly not the Sox brass