Red Sox 2017 Report Card: First Baseman Mitch Moreland
By Jake Ellis
Our annual Report Card series evaluates and grades the 2017 season of each member of the Boston Red Sox. Up next – first baseman Mitch Moreland.
Mitch Moreland was a valuable piece to the Boston Red Sox this year.
He hit .246, which would make you think, why bring him back if he cannot even hit above .250? Moreland has come through in the clutch when the Red Sox have needed him most. He hit 22 home runs and 34 doubles, which is a career high.
The Red Sox signed Moreland to a one-year deal, but he wants to be back for another year or more.
"“Absolutely. I’ve loved it here,” Moreland told CNHI Sports Boston last month. “It’s been a blast to play in front of the fans, and just the atmosphere of being a part of the Boston Red Sox. The organization has been great. But there’s a lot bigger things at stake right now. We’ve got a long ways to go and a lot of work to do. So we’ll worry about that when the time comes.”"
One of the reasons the Red Sox front office should consider bringing him back is that Moreland thrives at Fenway Park. Like I said above, he already has a career high in doubles and fell one shy of matching his career high in home runs as well.
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First base has been a problem for a while for the Red Sox, and this offseason, Dave Dombrowski will have a decision to make. Does he stay with Moreland after he put up some career numbers? Or does he want to see Sam Travis finally take his place as the starting first baseman?
Dealin’ Dave has a big decision to make in this upcoming offseason on whether or not to bring back Mitch Moreland. I think he could be a valuable piece as he is not only someone who can bat all around the lineup, but also could provide some defense at the hot corner.
Now that our 2017 season has come to an end, it is time to see if Moreland is someone that we want to come back to Beantown, or if we want a new face to come and represent our Red Sox at first base, like free agents Eric Hosmer or Carlos Santana.
Moreland during this past season, like I said above, batted .246 and saw an increase to .385 in his batting average during the postseason. Even though we saw a better performance from Moreland, can we trust him to keep that momentum going until next season? Or will a trusty name like Santana, Hosmer or maybe Logan Morrison be worth the price tag that we will have to pay? Or maybe put all our eggs back into the Sam Travis, and let him develop into the hard-hitting prospect he has been touted as?
Next: Top 5 free agent hitter targets
Dave Dombrowski has a lot of big decisions to make in this upcoming offseason, but one of them should be to let Moreland walk and bring someone who could contribute some pop in our batting lineup, something that our lineup desperately needed this past season. With a little juice being added to this lineup, and a new face in Alex Cora coming in, I truly believe the sky is the limit for the Red Sox in the future.