Stephen Drew has passed his physical and will soon be introduced to Red Sox Nation. According to brother J.D., who played five-years for Boston and retired in 2011, he’ll likely fare better in Boston than did his older sibling simply because of the kind of person he is.
JD was taciturn, evoking the same emotion whether the Sox had suffered a crushing defeat or won a crucial game down the stretch; that would be the emotion of none at all. It wasn’t his fault. It’s the way he was and remains wired. And that, coupled with his inability to stay healthy, made fans resentful who look to their athletes and their emotions to be larger than life.
J.D. Drew was also one of the first big moves Boston had made in many years to bring a perceived rising star into the fold during the prime of his career. The statistical problem with J.D. was that he was paid premium money – $14 million per year – during his five-year career in Boston while his stat line essentially declined each year. Stephen won’t have that pressure to deal with.
The younger Drew comes to Boston as a bridge shortstop with a one-year contract – $9.5 million – and none of the high expectations of his older brother, which also means he only has upside.
If it doesn’t work out, meh. Boston is presumably now grooming Xander Bogaerts as their shortstop of the future (although the jury is out as Bogaerts finishes physically maturing), especially if Jose Iglesias doesn’t learn how to hit.
For a shortstop, the 29-year old Drew – who bats left-handed – has a decent career slashline of .265/328/.382/.707. This will be Drew’s first full season after coming off a badly broken ankle in 2011, which dragged on and affected him through the 2012 season. He’s one of those sleeper players that may just end up in Boston for more than one year if he remains healthy.
Speaking to WEEI, Brother J.D. provided some insight into how he thinks his brother will work out in Boston. “My only thought for Stephen is he is his own player and his own person,” J.D. said “What aggravates me is that he’s been kind of lumped into an injury-prone kind of deal. Stephen’s never been injury-prone. This guy has played 150 games a year for most of his career until he breaks his leg in half.”
Welcome to Boston Stephen. Break a leg in only the theatrical sense.
He ain’t heavy
He’s my brother
- He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, The Hollies