The Red Sox will have three 20/20 outfielders
How it could happen:
Only nine major league hitters hit 20+ homers with 20+ steals last season. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi were among that group, making them the only pair of teammates in the 20/20 club in 2017. Could they add a third member this year?
We can’t assume Betts and Benny will reach those marks again this year but it would surprise no one if they both improved upon last year’s totals. That would leave only a career year from Jackie Bradley to make it a trio of Red Sox outfielders in the club.
Bradley is coming off a down season but he flashed his potential for mid-20’s home run power the previous year. He has yet to reach double-digit steals in a season. However, he boasts an elite 85.7 percent career success rate. Bradley also confirmed that manager Alex Cora has given him the green light on the base paths. We should expect Bradley to make a run at 20+ stolen bases. If his power bounces back to 2016 levels then he could be the next 20/20 player on this roster.
Don’t rule out Eduardo Nunez entering that conversation as well. He’s primarily a utility infielder but has some limited experience in the outfield. If he makes an appearance at any outfield position this year then he’d qualify for this prediction.
Nunez stole 24 bases last year and 40 the previous season. The steals portion of the projection should be no problem if he’s given sufficient playing time. Nunez’ career high of 16 home runs has been suppressed by limited playing time and the ballparks he’s primarily played in. He blasted eight homers in only 38 games after he came to Boston last season. His playing time may be questionable but if he approaches 500 plate appearances then Nunez has a shot to be a 20/20 guy this year.