Red Sox free-agent target – OF Tommy Pham
Like Pillar, Tommy Pham’s stock has crashed after two straight down seasons. After a three-year span in which Pham slashed .284/.381/.475 and averaged over 20 home runs a year, Pham has slipped just .226/.335/.370 since 2020. While some of his decline can be attributed to a 2020 broken hamate bone and an offseason stabbing, Pham’s future is in jeopardy as he enters 2022 without a team.
When you look deeper at Pham’s numbers, however, his regression is much harder to pinpoint. His walk rate and strikeout rate are virtually unchanged from his prime, and he still hits the ball well (84th percentile in hard-hit rate.) Bad luck isn’t the only reason Pham has declined over the last two years, but it’s clear there is still a good player in there somewhere.
Even if Pham can’t return to pre-2020-levels, he would still fill a need on the Red Sox roster for right-handed-hitting outfielders. Both Alex Verdugo (170 points of OPS) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (40 points) are notably worse hitters against southpaws, while Pham is 50 points better. Even in his down 2021 season, his .736 OPS was significantly higher than Verdugo (.554) and Bradley Jr. (.528).
With Hunter Renfroe in Milwaukee, the Red Sox need to sign a right-handed hitting outfielder, and there are few better options than Pham.