The Boston Red Sox apparently aren’t looking for second baseman in the market. This could lead to Chad De La Guerra making an impact in 2019.
2018 saw the Boston Red Sox scrambling to figure things out at second base multiple times during the season. Despite that, they apparently aren’t looking for any help at the position this offseason.
The hope is that Dustin Pedroia is healthy in 2019. That’s never guaranteed though as Pedroia played 105 games in 2017 and just three in 2018. He’s simply never been the same since the Manny Machado slide.
Behind Pedroia is Eduardo Nunez – who has had knee issues in each of the last two seasons. In fact, both struggling with injuries is what caused a scramble at the position at one point in 2019.
Behind Nunez it gets weird for the Red Sox. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Brock Holt was a full-time second baseman, he’d win a Gold Glove. However, he’s more valuable as someone that could fill in at literally any position outside of catcher.
Tzu-Wei Lin was hitting well at the end of last year, and is also a defensive wizard. That’s it though. Two injury-prone aging stars at the front, with a two utility-men behind them.
Marco Hernandez has a chance to make waves, but injuries have caused problems with him too. He appeared in 21 games in 2017 before a shoulder injury shelved him for the rest of the year. Then he missed all of 2018 with said injury.
With all this in mind, the depth at second base isn’t very deep when considering all the injury problems they’ve faced. Due to that, you have to look at who the Red Sox have stashed in the minors.
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The first name that comes to mind is Chad De La Guerra. In 2017, De La Guerra enjoyed a breakout season, slashing .283/.361/.437 with 31 doubles and 59 RBI. At first glance, 2018 may seem like a step back, but DLG actually improved in multiple areas.
The 26-year-old played mainly in Double-A but did get his first taste of Triple-A. Between the two, he slashed .242/.310/.414 with only 15 doubles. He also destroyed his previous-high in home runs (9) but mashing 16 though. The second baseman was also still managed 58 RBI, one off his career-best.
De La Guerra isn’t the defensive highlight reel that someone like Lin is. He’s much steadier than Hernandez though. On offense, he has more power than both and definitely has the higher overall-upside than Lin.
De La Guerra isn’t projected to be a superstar, he has all the tools to be a solid contributor in the Majors. With the Red Sox potentially running into a problem at second base again this season, they may need to scramble for help. If DLG plays well, he should be one of the first called to action.
Given a chance in the potent Red Sox lineup, De La Guerra could actually be a perfect fit. He’s got enough pop in his bat that given the fantastic protection he could find quite a few homers at Fenway. The left-handed hitter is a strong contact guy with decent enough speed that any weaknesses he does have should be masked by his teammates.
If the Red Sox find themselves needing to turn to De La Guerra, he could end up having a major impact on the team. Sometimes talent fits perfectly into a system, and that could be what happens here. If Boston does end up turning to DLG – don’t think the sky is falling, good things might be right around the corner.