Red Sox Opening Day 2017: 25-man roster breakdown
Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Andrew Benintendi, Chris Young
After finishing second in the AL MVP race last season, what does Mookie Betts do for an encore? The 24-year old still hasn’t reached his peak and may be on his way to becoming the best overall player in baseball.
Boston may have the best defensive outfield in the majors, anchored by Jackie Bradley in center field. His bat is as streaky as they come, but he showed a little more consistency during last year’s breakout season and the power is trending in the right direction.
The front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award is Andrew Benintendi. He was impressive in his brief time with the Red Sox in the second half of last season and should slot into the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He bulked up a bit over the winter, suggesting he’ll hit for more power this season. Benintendi smashed three homers this spring, a promising sign that he’s ready to add that element to his game.
What’s Chris Young’s role this season? He was supposed to be the DH against left-handed pitching, but those plans are on hold until Ramirez’ shoulder allows him to cover first base. John Farrell will be tasked with finding ways to get Young at-bats against lefties, which won’t be easy if it means sitting one of the stud starting outfielders.
There isn’t much depth at the position, especially since we want to avoid putting Young in the lineup against right-handed pitchers. At least Holt can play any of the three outfield spots if needed. Beyond that, there isn’t another outfielder on the 40-man roster.
Next: AL East Previews, Predictions
This outfield is as strong as any in baseball, but if injury strikes then the Red Sox may be in trouble.