Red Sox: Four reasons that will determine a winning or losing season
The offense will be a juggernaut
The addition of Martinez cannot be dismissed and expect the lineup to be rejuvenated with his power bat. The Red Sox were not that bad in 2017 and did manage some respectable offensive numbers despite a downward tick from a few players. Ramirez mist certainly will not hit .249 and drive in as many runs as Pedroia.
Speaking of Pedroia his average was over .300 until his knee wobbles lowered it to .293 by the end of the season. As a career .300 hitter expect that from Pedroia in 2018 when he is healthy. And Andrew Benintendi? Just how good can he be? Benny has bulked up and could be looking at a 30/30 season after a 20/20 rookie campaign. That is just a few. Expect them to feed off each other and be in the .280+ range.
This lineup has it all – metrics or eyeball they have contact, power, speed, OBP, and that will see the Red Sox back in the top three offensively in the American League. Expect the young players to move to the next level.
The offense will stall
Let me see about this Martinez? The 45 home runs look good, but the 119 games played do not. Martinez tends to miss time and don’t expect a magical change regarding that. With HanRam, if he squeezes in 497 plate appearances to kick in his option the Red Sox will need 22 million excuses to why that happened.
Pedroia is 34-years-old, has an injury history and will be about as mobile as a blind slug around second. The bat will follow, and we can witness the rapid decline of a Red Sox legend. That contract looks worse each season.
The young guys are risky to call. Is Mookie Betts going to be Mike Trout lite or Andrew McCutchen? XB did nothing and his bat looked as bad as his glove. Bradley hit just .245 and usually has a few prodigious slumps during the season. JBJ wants to steal more bases, but that requires getting on base.
Baseball today is the long ball and Boston finished last in the American League. Maybe Martinez will hit 70? The reality is this lineup does not scare anyone except manager Cora. They’ll have their collective moments but can’t compete with the real big boys.