Red Sox: Five players that can replace Mookie Betts in right field
No. 1: Alex Verdugo
The big fish that swam his way from Los Angeles back to Boston will likely be out everyday right fielder. Alex Verdugo has some serious upside despite much of Red Sox Nation being disappointed that he was the return. He’ll be turning 24 just after the season gets underway and has plenty of years ahead of him.
He doesn’t have a perfect record as his character has come into question a few times while in LA. Not to mention a run-in with Rich Hill shortly after being called up in 2017. He’ll need to be on his best behavior as he won’t be able to get away with anything with this fanbase.
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Verdugo played in 109 games for the Dodgers last year, missing some time due to an injury. If he comes into this season healthy then he can earn the everyday spot right out of spring training and put a stamp on the position. He has also said that he’s been a Red Sox fan since he was a kid, which should help endear him to the Fenway Faithful.
During his 2019 campaign, he posted a .294/.342/.475/.817 line with 12 homers and 44 RBI. He spent time in each division of the outfield with much of his season coming in center field. As far as rightfield is concerned though he had a strong .977 Fld%, a decline from Betts but not awful.
Verdugo has the unfortunate task of following a former MVP and what may be the best homegrown talent in franchise history. Filling the void left by Mookie is easier said than done and I’m sure he won’t be accepted by the fans right away. However, if he can come in like a bat out of hell then he could win the fanbase over.
Losing Mookie Betts is something that Red Sox Nation was not looking forward to and now we have to wait and see where the team goes next. It feels like Verdugo will be the first option to replace the former All-Star but the team clearly has options. Spring training will be more important this season than it has in a long time. Whoever is named as the next Boston manager, they’re going to have their hands full.