Red Sox: Five free agents that can replace Chris Young

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SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 14: Seth Smith
SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 14: Seth Smith (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

Last season, Seth Smith hit for his highest batting average (.258) since 2014 (.266) for the Baltimore Orioles. Smith, 35, also had his fewest plate appearances (373) since his rookie year in 2008. His fewest plate appearances in nearly a decade suggests Father Time may be catching up to the left-handed veteran, preventing him from taking the field as much as he’d like to.

Still, Smith showed last season he can still make decent contact, hitting 13 bombs and 19 doubles in his limited plate appearances. The Red Sox could use Smith as a pull-hitting threat off the bench, taking advantage of Fenway Park’s Pesky Pole. Smith doesn’t poke the ball to the opposite field too much, but if he can adjust his approach to hit more balls off the Green Monster, he may find his average raise even higher next season.

Additionally, Smith has shown he’s a reliable fielder over the course of his career, continuing that trend last year by turning in a clean sheet of fielding with no errors.

Errors can be deceiving and Smith isn’t exactly a speedster, but he shouldn’t have a problem blending in with the speedy, young Red Sox outfield. Play conservative, clean defense and make a living out of the right field fence is an easy strategy for Smith to follow — and for the Red Sox to count on.

On paper, Smith seems like a good fit for the Red Sox. However, statistically, Smith isn’t a perfect fit for Fenway. His numbers were underwhelming, going 5-23 with one double and two runs batted in last year. The last thing the Boston needs is a player who can’t produce at home, but a one season sample size shouldn’t be the only factor in signing Smith, who can offer the Red Sox reliable regular and postseason experience.