Red Sox position players on the fringe of making 2018 Opening Day roster

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 6: Deven Marrero
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 6: Deven Marrero /
5 of 7
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JULY 30: Bryce Brentz (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JULY 30: Bryce Brentz (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /


2017 in Pawtucket: 120 G, 31 HR, 85 RBI, .271 BA/.334 OBP/.529 SLG (.863 OPS)

In one of the stranger turn of events in 2017, Bryce Brentz was good again?

Outside of his two short stints in the majors, the 28-year olds career has been that of slight disappointment. Brentz has always been billed as a power hitter, with his main problem being strikeouts. You know what they say: “with great power comes not that great plate discipline.” Or something like that, I think.

More from Red Sox News

He turned that around in 2017, leading the International League of AAA baseball in homers with 31. Brentz finished second in Slugging Percentage behind Phillies prospect Rhys Hoskins. He also finished second in Total Bases behind former Major Leaguer Pedro Alvarez. The outfielder also saw a Minor League career-high in walks with 42. Brentz’ breakout year did not go unnoticed, as the Red Sox selected his contract, and added him to the 40-man roster. But does he have a chance to make the big club out of Spring Training?

Over the course of his career, he has shown an ability to hit left-handed pitching. While most of his homers in 2017 (22) came off of righties, his slash categories saw a bump against lefties. His OPS against lefties was over 100 points higher (.957) than it was against righties (833.) Brentz also saw greater plate discipline against LHPs, with a K/BB ratio of 19/17 against southpaws. His K/BB against RHPs soared to 90/25. It is safe to say that Brentz prefers facing left-handed pitching. This is true of his time with Boston as well. In 34 games in the majors, Brentz hits lefties at a .327 clip, with an OPS of .814. When you compare that to his .237 average and .526 OPS against major league righties and the case is closed.

To answer my question from before, the former first-round pick finally appears to be ready to crack the big club for good. And the timing is fantastic.

In 2016, the Red Sox brought in fourth outfielder Chris Young to hit primarily against lefties. Young is a free agent this year, and Brentz is great against lefties. The Red Sox added him to the 40-man roster. I don’t think I need to spell it out for you any further.

VERDICT: Starts season with Red Sox in MLB as fourth OF.