25 in 25: Allen Craig


2014 recap:

Allen Craig had established himself as a .300 hitter prior to a disastrous 2014. Last season may have had its roots traced back to 9/4/2013 when Craig suffered a mid-foot injury – the type that a few seasons back took Dustin Pedroia for a spin.

Craig, age 30, has some history against the Red Sox hitting .375 in the World Series of 2013 and being the center piece of a controversial obstruction call on Will Middlebrooks that resulted in a 5-4 walk-off victory. That history expanded when at the end of July last season Craig and Joe Kelly were sent to Boston in exchange for John Lackey.

Craig, already signed to an extensive contract, had spiraled down for St. Louis. The “Clutchmaster” and “RBI Machine” had become an offensive liability slashing .237/.291/.346 while playing the outfield and first base. Craig, a favorite among Redbird fans, now had an opportunity to rescue his season in Boston.

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With Boston Craig made a visit to the DL after just one game and his numbers sank hitting just .128 for Boston. Craig managed a single home run and a meager two RBI in 107 plate appearances for Boston. The season could best be described as a disaster.

2015 Outlook:

Craig is part of the extensive Red Sox logjam in the outfield and with a defense that can generously be described as “average” his future will be linked more with the bat than the glove. The other option is first base and that position is in the defensively capable hands of Mike Napoli, who also has some health issues, but also some respectable power numbers. Craig, based on 2014 performance, is the odd man out at two positions. Three if you count DH David Ortiz.

Craig’s value may be as part of a trade package. That value will spiral upwards if Craig demonstrates anything resembling a return to his pre – 2014 performance, but the problem is how to prove it? The Red Sox hope to contend and Craig is locked in as a bench player unless internal moves are made, injuries happen or trades are made. The contract could also be a road block as Craig is signed for four more years with the last being an option at 13M with a buyout.

The next addition to 25 in 25 will be Ryan Hanigan.