My 2020 Boston Red Sox season preview and predictions

BOSTON, MA - JULY 17: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox warms up on deck during an intrasquad game during a summer camp workout before the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season on July 17, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 17: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox warms up on deck during an intrasquad game during a summer camp workout before the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season on July 17, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next
red sox
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Batting

In 2019, the Red Sox offense was pretty much the only part of the team that performed well. Here’s how the 2019 team’s numbers compared to the fantastic 2018 team:

2018: .268 BA, 208 HR, 829 RBI, 876 R, 569 BB, 1253 K, .339 OBP, .792 OPS
2019: .269 BA, 245 HR, 857 RBI, 901 R, 590 BB, 1382 K, .340 OBP, .806 OPS

By just about every metric, the 2019 team was a bit more productive at the plate than the 2018 team. Clearly scoring runs wasn’t the problem last year; preventing them was (and that will be discussed later). The offense should be just as potent in 2020 even with the moderate amount of turnover the Red Sox roster has had this offseason.

The biggest subtraction the team made was, of course, Mookie Betts and while they didn’t replace him with anyone who will come even close to replacing his 2018 MVP season of .346/32 HR/80 RBI or even his 2019 line of .295/29 HR/80 RBI, they should still be okay. Between Verdugo (.294/12 HR/44 HR in 2019) and Pillar (.259/21 HR/88 RBI in 2019), the Red Sox should be able to approximate Mookie’s production and the offense should still be potent.

They’ll need Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, and Rafael Devers to build off of their career years last year, JD Martinez to continue producing at the same level as he has the last two years, and Andrew Benintendi to shake off the decline in his numbers from the last season and a half. If Michael Chavis can learn how to lay off the high fastball and improve upon his rookie season, that would be an added bonus. Even with all of those qualifiers, this team is going to score a lot of runs.

It will be interesting to see what they do in the leadoff spot now that Betts is gone. Alex Cora tried Benintendi at the top of the order last season and it was an unmitigated disaster, so much so that he reinstalled Betts in the one spot. Ron Roenicke has mentioned he’s going to try Benintendi there again this season… we’ll see how that works out.