Red Sox Strut: Jackie Bradley heats up, Drew Pomeranz in a groove
By Sean Penney
Position Player Candidates
Sam Travis continued the impressive start to his big league career by going 5-for-9 (.556) at the plate last week. He picked up the first two doubles of his career but is still seeking his first RBI. He also struck out three times, giving him four K’s in his first 14 career at-bats. His lofty batting average is bound to come crashing down if his strikeout rate keeps flirting with the 30 percent mark.
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Is the return of Pablo Sandoval actually a good thing for the Red Sox? He picked up three hits and drove in the winning run in his first game back from the disabled list and added a home run two days later. He’s hitting .313 with a .915 OPS in the five games since he’s been back. His atrocious defense nearly cost them Sunday’s game but as long as he keeps hitting then he’ll have a spot in the lineup against right-handed pitching.
Can we still call it a good week for Xander Bogaerts even though going 9-for-28 (.321) actually lowered his season average to .330? I’m going to say yes, considering he’s still tied for fourth in the batting title race. Bogaerts also hit his second home run of the season, so perhaps his power is finally coming around.
Another week goes by with no signs of Christian Vazquez cooling off. After going 5-for-16 last week he’s now hitting .344 for the season. How is he doing it? His average is inflated by an unsustainable .423 BABIP that is over 100 points above his career average and league average. He also rarely walks, so his OBP will suffer when his average inevitably dips. At least he’s not striking out a ton, which may indicate his average won’t plummet too much. His career-low 2.9% walk rate is less than half of his career average, although this is also a sign that he’s being more aggressive at the plate. So far that seems to be working for him.