Boston Red Sox first half grades

Jun 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) smiles while on deck during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) smiles while on deck during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 28, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Bryce Brentz (64), center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) and right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrate in the dugout after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Bryce Brentz (64), center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) and right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrate in the dugout after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Outfield

Brock Holt – C

A very tough grade for the Leatherman tool of the Red Sox. How much of his slash of .239/.310/.354 is related to his concussion? What does stand out is a surprising three home runs in limited action. The UZR/150 stands at a -14.4 for his left field action and Holt did display some issues going to his left. His added depth to the lineup has been missed.

Chris Young – B

Once the at-bats started to come in so did the hits as Young finished the first half with a comfortable slash of .277/.338/.508 and six home runs. The doubles were a surprise with 12 in Young’s 142 plate appearances. Defensively he is an improvement over Holt. Young’s physical status may be more serious than first reported and the DL stay could be significant.

Mookie Betts – A

If you believe in defensive metrics and UZR/150 then Betts has shown substantial improvement in 2016 with a UZR/150 of 14.7. Watch him game after game and you see his combination of speed, quickness, and above average arm all combine to start mentioning a budding Dwight Evans.

Betts is a run scoring machine who leads the league in that category from his lead-off spot. One thing that is essential to scoring runs is to hit. Can’t score if you can’t get on base and Mookie gets on base – maybe a few more free passes would look nice, but the kid is on the way to 100+ RBI, 30+ home runs and a shot at a .300 average.

Jackie Bradley – A

If he could only hit .250? Forget the defense as the only surprise this season has been the occasional error – this is a top of the line defensive player with an arm that makes the pitching staff envious.

Bradley has cooled off after a 29 game hitting streak, but that is certainly expected. What has not cooled off is his propensity for extra base hits. Doubles, triples, and home runs are being accumulated and it shows in a 100+ RBI pace. JBJ is still around .300 and if he follows script expect another 20 game blitz in the second half.

Reserves

Rusney Castillo (F) and will be set financially for life. Blake Swihart (B-) was starting to adjust to LF and the bat had come alive. Now back to square one with a serious ankle injury. Bryce Brentz (B) will soon land on earth after some serious hitting. Ryan LaMarre (Who?).

Next: Starters