Boston Red Sox Report Cards: First baseman Mitch Moreland

BOSTON, MA - September 9: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox is doused in gatorade following his walk-off hit to win the game in the ninth inning after a victory over the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on September 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - September 9: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox is doused in gatorade following his walk-off hit to win the game in the ninth inning after a victory over the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on September 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

In the BoSox Injection Report Card series, here, we take a look at Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, and how he contributed to this years success.

Mitch Moreland played an important role in this year’s World Champion Red Sox team. He formed a formidable first base platoon with World Series MVP Steve Pearce. With Moreland left-handed and Pearce right-handed, this duo worked wonders throughout the year.

Moreland was his usual self, defensively, as he was nominated for another Gold Glove. Unfortunately, he didn’t take home the award this year. However, the 2016 Gold Glover also thrived at the plate. Throughout a large part, in the middle of the season, Moreland devastated pitchers and was able to become an important bat in the Red Sox line up.

The left-handed batter, renowned by Red Sox fans for recording doubles, recorded 23 of these, along with 4 triples – the first time he’s recorded more than a single three-base hit in his career.

His spot in the line up put him in a prime position to collect RBI. Usually batting behind the likes of Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, there were plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. He recorded 15 home runs and 68 RBI this season. These statistics are more than solid when you look at what was asked of Moreland.

What is more impressive is that he did this with limited time. The first baseman featured in 124 games in the regular season, in comparison to 149 in 2017 – where he was more of a day-to-day 1B, as Hanley Ramirez featured as the first choice designated hitter. He was a solid hitter and even more solid in the field. His ability at the plate was matched by his ability to make exceptional plays and continue to be as solid as they come, at first base. The Gold Glove nominee ended the year with a .998 fielding percentage, the second best in the league among all first baseman.


Although Moreland didn’t feature as much as expected in the Red Sox’s amazing postseason campaign, he still played a large role, and what he did will be unforgettable to Red Sox fans for years. Due to the exceptional performances from Steve Pearce at the plate, Moreland only started 3 of the 14 postseason games. However, he featured in all but three games. His overall stat line in October saw him bat .294 over seventeen at-bats. He was able to record 5 base hits – but, they were not mere hits, as his hits became crucial as Moreland drove in 5 batters, overall.

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Moreland’s first huge moment of this illustrious campaign came in Game Three of the ALCS. In the eighth inning, he pinch-hit for Christian Vazquez and was able to draw the pitch, getting hit. This allowed his first base counterpart, Pearce, to score, as the bases were loaded. Moreland later scored as Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a grand slam and the Red Sox won to take a crucial 3-1 lead in the series.

However, the defining moment for Moreland in the record-breaking season came at the biggest stage – the World Series. After appearing in Games One and Two from the bench and starting the everlasting Game Three, Moreland was yet to record a hit in the series. This changed in Game Four. The momentum was starting to sway in the Dodgers favour and the Red Sox needed some electricity from the line up to change this. On the back of a fired up Chris Sale in the dugout, the Sox rallied. Moreland played a part which is unbelievably huge. As he pinch-hitter for pitcher Matt Barnes, Moreland hit a three-run homer to left field with two outs in the seventh inning, which started the rally to allow the Sox to take a 3-1 World Series lead.


A-. . 1B. Boston Red Sox. MITCH MORELAND

Moreland’s season was what was asked of him. He came through with great plays from the field, big hits and even bigger ones when it mattered most. The 2018 Boston team will long be remembered for coming together and putting together incredible showings. Moreland was an important part of this. His ability along with his veteran experience allowed him to thrive in this team. With limited playing time, in a platoon, it’s not always easy to go out there and continue to shine. Moreland was able to perform for the Red Sox and this has earned him a World Series title. He’ll continue to be important for Boston next year, as reigning champions.

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Looking ahead to 2019

Moreland will remain an important player for this defending world champion Red Sox team in 2019. The first baseman has one year left on his current deal and will enter unrestricted free agency after the 2019 season. With Pearce now a free agent, it remains to be seen what the Red Sox will do to shape up their first base depth for next year. It’s probable that Boston will want to bring back one of their postseason stars, in Pearce, for 2019. This would continue the platoon. If Pearce doesn’t return, Moreland is more than capable of acting as the day-to-day first baseman. He’ll play an important role no matter what happens.