Jul 20, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hits a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Position Player: David Ortiz
I know, I know. He’s not playing a position as much as he’s playing a role of designated hitter. However, Ortiz has swung the bat pretty well for the Red Sox, lately.
The team needs leadership, especially by example. Ortiz had very good at-bats against the Los Angeles Angels, making them throw more pitches than they may have wanted. He hit a home run and two RBIs with a slash line of .333/.333/.533 in 15 at-bats. Even with speedy studs like Mookie Betts and Brock Holt on the team, Ortiz was the only player to cross home plate twice after the All-Star Break.
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts looked to be taking the Strut award again, and away from Ortiz, with hitting a slash line of .429/.400/.500; however with the small sample size, his advantage only amounted to a single hit more. Ortiz amassed a home run and an RBI more than Bogaerts, while both men struck out three times.
Yes, I know, I’m really digging the bottom of the barrel.
The Red Sox went 22-for-127, which amounts to a .173 team batting average. That is the worst team batting average in both major leagues. Oddly enough, they are just behind the fourth place team in the A.L. East the Tampa Bay Rays, whom have a .187 team batting average but also have five more wins than Boston.
If the Red Sox are going to get back into the hunt, they will need to follow Ortiz’s example and extend at-bats as far as they can, or they won’t be strutting very far.