Red Sox: What could possibly go wrong for Boston in 2017?

Jul 8, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan (62) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan (62) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 6
Next
October 6, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (40) hits a single in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game one of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
October 6, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (40) hits a single in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game one of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Back to the kid’s table

Big, or should I say bigger, things are expected of the younger players on the team. Mookie Betts is an almost MVP and one of the premier players in baseball. Solid from start to finish in 2016. Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley were both All-Stars, but both had some question marks.

Bogaerts fading in the second half of the season. Not a downward trajectory, but a gentle drift from being a batting title contender to fighting to stay close to .300. Will that continue? Bradley is what Bradley has always been – either frigid or supernova hot. The one thing that Bradley has not been is being consistent. His talent is scary, but so are his prolonged slumps. One for the entire season spells trouble.

Andrew Benintendi was a rare number one pick who actually made it to the MLB level in about one season. Smooth and skilled the sweet-swinging left fielder has star qualities, but many others have had the same only to see it evaporate quickly.

Blake Swihart is the forgotten player. The promising catcher-left fielder could be an important reserve or even regular or semi-regular catcher. Swihart can hit and that is a serious advantage over Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon – I am not sold on Leon being a .300 hitter. Swihart is healthy and still on the team after the dealing frenzy by DD. Management likes this kid, fans like this kid, the media likes this kid, but what if Swihart simply fails? Ouch!