Red Sox Rankings: Top 5 Potential Outfield Combos After ASG
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Jul 11, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez (13) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
5) What Farrell Wanted (Sort Of)
Left Field: Hanley Ramirez
Center Field: Mookie Betts
Right Field: Alejandro De Aza
- Shane Victorino in RF, pushing De Aza to LF, if needed
- Brock Holt in CF
- Daniel Nava to LF or RF
- Betts was the man in question during spring training, as many people believed that Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo would win the job in center field, with Ramirez and Victorino flanking him. Now, Betts is the only player on the Red Sox to play 85 games this season in the outfield. He has won the starting job with his amazing defensive prowess, proven by his seemingly constant appearances on countless highlight reels. On offense, his triple slash line is .278/.330/.467 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs, putting him only behind Ramirez (45) in run production. For the rest of this article, assume Betts will be the starting center fielder for the rest of the season in any combination.
- Ramirez is getting older, with clear issues with staying healthy. Being in the outfield was supposed to save him from getting injured, keeping him fresh at the plate. Clearly Han-Ram has been an absolute beast at the plate, hitting 19 home runs in his return to the baseball team who originally signed him as an amateur free agent in 2000. Both Ramirez and Betts not only lead the outfielders but the entire team in RBIs and runs scored (48 and 47, respectively). However, left field has been difficult for Ramirez to learn, especially playing the Green Monster caroms in Fenway Park. He has three errors and a .967 fielding percentage, which puts him dead last in the ranking of all American League starting outfielders. His bats is too important to lose, but left field does not look like the best fit for him, regardless of how many times Farrell sends him out there. Stints at first base and the designated hitter role seem more likely, which means, considering David Ortiz is not retiring this season, Mike Napoli may be spending more time on the bench than he’d like after the All-Star Game.
- You can’t take out De Aza, either. Coming from the Baltimore Orioles on June 3rd, De Aza’s performance has made giving up a minor leaguer look like nothing at all. Between his bat, which is well documented, and his defensive range, like last night‘s diving catch against the New York Yankees to rob a base hit, De Aza is too valuable to not play every day. A switch to left field, with Hanley moving to right field could be interesting, but for some reason unlikely as Farrell continues to put Ramirez in left if at all.
- Farrell is pretty loyal to his veteran players, which explains why Victorino is around and still getting playing time like last night. He would love to use Victorino as much as he can to try to rekindle that spark he had in 2013; however, hitting .243 with a home run and three RBIs in 26 games from strictly the right side of the plate, giving up switch-hitting, is not going to cut it. Nava is another Farrell-favorite, especially since he bats lefty, but the lack of numbers when called upon (.159 batting average in 27 games) has kept him on the bench for a long time.
- Holt is the only Red Sox player to be selected an All-Star this season. With a bat, he’s a terror to opposing pitchers. With a glove, in any position other than catcher or pitcher, he’s a menace to opposing batters. Easily the best player to not be considered a starter on the team, Holt is the only current logical answer to step in for Betts if he is injured or for any other reason.