Boston Red Sox: Predicting the 2030 Opening Day Roster

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 14: Triston Casas #94 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on March 14, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 14: Triston Casas #94 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on March 14, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran
BOSTON, MA – JULY 28: Jarren Duran #40 of the Boston Red Sox follows watches a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of game two of a doubleheader at Fenway Park on July 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Outfield

The Red Sox outfield had some serious defensive issues in 2021. Their offense slapped though. That being said, the 2030 lineup shouldn’t have that first lineup. They might not be flawless but there will be a lot to love. And the offense is still going to go hard.

Centerfielder – Gilberto Jimenez

Gilberto Jimenez will be the centerfielder. He has insane speed. His defense is really solid and he has a good arm. That might be surprising considering the switch-hitter is not very big and is far from a power hitter.

Jimenez could be the throwback type of leadoff hitter. He’ll be just 29 at the start of the 2030 season and might be 250-plus steals in already. Seriously, he’s got that type of speed. Slapping singles and stealing bases. Love to see it from the leadoff guy.

Jimenez could hit .300 and steal 50 bases. Might add some power (he tried to do it but it was pretty unsuccessful this season), but honestly if he doesn’t, I’m more than happy having that type of guy at the top of the order and letting the rest of the lineup bring him in. Great defense, great contact, insane speed.

Corner Outfielder – Jarren Duran

Jarren Duran got his first taste of the Majors in 2021. Things didn’t go particularly well for him in that time, but he also flashed the potential of someone that could be an absolute stud.

One big issue was the strikeouts. And that felt like it came with his new power. Sometimes it felt like he was swinging for the fences and that led to some slumps. But Duran is so insanely talented that if he just plays his game, the home runs will come and the left-hander will hit for average as well.

Could be a good average bat with 20-plus homers and 40-plus steals. He’ll be 33 at the start of the 2030 season so everything should still be clicking nicely for him. Not elite defense but he’s improved and his speed will help him as he patrols one of the corner outfield spots.

Don’t let 107 at-bats in 2021 turn you off from the amazing talent that is Jarren Duran. He’s a major part of the Red Sox future.

Corner Outfielder – Alex Verdugo

Alex Verdugo is another one that already has a seriously significant role on the team now that will still be around in 2030. Verdugo is only 25 right now and will be 33 at the start of the 2030 season. Patrolling left or right field, he’ll still be a Gold Glove type of player.

Meanwhile, offensively Verdugo will likely still be the same type of player. Not major power but might be able to get you 15 home runs, 20 in a good year. Really good contact, with the ability to hit around .300 with 30-plus doubles and a handful of steals. Just a great bat to have in your lineup. And you can’t not love the energy.

Backup Outfielder – Nick Decker

Nick Decker will be 30 to start the 2030 season. The left-handed hitter will be serving a role as the backup outfielder. He’s going to be great for that too as he has the athleticism to takeover at any of the three spots if needed. Meanwhile, he has a good combination of contact, power, and speed.

Maybe he isn’t elite in any of those three categories, but the fact that he could hit .280-plus with 15-20 homers and 15-plus steals makes him so valuable. Decker will be able to give the Red Sox whatever they need whenever they need it.

Utility-man – Ceddanne Rafaela

Really not much to say here that hasn’t already been said, but felt like he needed to be added because Rafaela will be playing in the outfield as much as the infield. Seriously, the defense is legit and even in games where he didn’t play don’t be surprised to see him patrolling a spot someone on the field late in games as a defensive replacement.