Red Sox players from the past seared in my negative memory
By Rick McNair
Right-handed power bats have always been on the prowl target for Red Sox management and trading righty Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena may have brought one of significance in the 6’ 3” and 300 pounder to town – especially after Pena’s first season.
Pena had 304 plate appearances with a slash of 11/42/.301, but hidden within the statistical array is a telling figure – 0.22 BB/K. A free swinger extraordinaire whose entire career could be summarized by prodigious home runs, questionable fielding, and a career 0.20 BB/K. Wily could make Aaron Judge envious with some of his blasts.
By Mid-August of 2007 Boston had seen enough and the 25-year-old Pena was shipped to the Nationals along with his .218 average and 58 strikeouts in 73 games. Pena was always questionable in the field and advanced metrics back that up.
After stints with the Nationals, Mets, Padres, and Seattle Pena took his show on the road and that road was in Japan. Japan showed no change as Pena hit home runs, struck out, hit for a low average and but in time with four teams in five seasons in Japan.