Accentuate the Red Sox positive for 2016
Sep 30, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts (50) hits a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the eleventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The rise of the young and influential
Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, Jackie Bradley and Henry Owens all presented themselves in various stages of development during 2015. E-Rod and Owens give a glimpse of the pitching future as both appear to be the real deal at ending an organizational pitching drought. Rodriguez could even elevate to the lofty ace status in the future and Owens is just tapping the surface of his potential.
Betts and Bogaerts have All-Star circa 2016 and beyond written all over their performance charts. Betts is becoming a huge fan favorite and certainly a nice marketing tool for the team and for Betts. With Bogaerts let the talk officially begin about a future contract discussion with Scott Boras.
Bradley, Shaw and Swihart may or may not be in future plans as both have high-end trade value. When the dilemma is who does the catching – a healthy Christian Vazquez or the very promising Swihart you know the Red Sox are in Red Barber’s famed catbird seat on catching. And Bradley? Bradley is a pitchers best friend with his incredible fielding athleticism at hauling in pitching mistakes before they become extra bases. And, that arm!
Shaw comes out of nowhere. Is Shaw going to be Will Middlebrooks or will he provide consistent power numbers from either third or first? And, do not dismiss Shaw as a potential cog in the outfield. Shaw’s trade value rings of team controllable with much promise in the power department.
This team was a fun team to watch the last two months of the season and it was certainly reflected in on field performance.