Red Sox Round Table: Over/Under predictions for 2017
By Sean Penney
Xander Bogaerts over/under .300 batting average
Sean: Under, but he should still reach .290 again. His developing power may come at a small expense to his batting average. I also worry about his second half fade last year when he was clearly fatigued. Participating in the World Baseball Classic this month could result in him wearing down by the tie we hit the dog days of summer.
Rick: The second half “slump” raised some warning flags, but I will go over. Bogaerts is a smart hitter who is capable of making adjustments. His”slump” and fielding deterioration in the second half may have been exhaustion.
Jake: Over. Since his terrible 2014, Bogaerts has seemed to incorporate one aspect of hitting per season. In 2015, it was contact (.320 batting average). In 2016, it was power (21 home runs). I think 2017 will be the year he puts them both together and hits around .310 with another 20+ homers. Consistency has been the issue with Bogaerts, and if he can mitigate his bad streaks just a little, he’ll reach the .300 mark with ease.
Jon: Way over .300. I think maybe .315-.325. He is an amazing hitter and can do everything. He’s just hitting his prime. If we learned anything about him last year it’s that he needs rest. The Red Sox will be cautious and rest him more frequently in the beginning to avoid the second half fatigue. It’ll be a better game plan and will equal more success.
David: Over. I’m confident Bogey will make some adjustments and get better at driving balls the other way.
Chris: Over – I’m going with my heart over my head here, assuming he’s going to develop even more than he already has. What concerns me is his 2nd half (post All-Star break) performance. He hit .253 in 72 games, compared to .329 in the 85 games before the break, and also struck out 65 times. Let’s not forget that he had to be dropped in the order as the season progressed. But like I said, I’m going with my heart and assuming that at age 24, he’s able to correct whatever was wrong with his swing at the end of the year and further progress in his hitting abilities. Even though he struggled at the end, he did manage to hit .294 for the season.
Drew: Xander is going over .300 this season. He hit .329 in the first half last season, .253 in the second half. I think the team is still learning about Bogie and they will do better at managing his work load to keep him fresher in the second half in 2017.