Infectious energy of Red Sox OFs Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo
A baseball season is a marathon. It’s not easy to show up for 162 games, often in the scorching heat, to play three-hour contests with rarely any off days in between. To survive the grueling schedule, you need to have guys who have a genuine love for the game and make it easy to show up to the ballpark. Fortunately for the Red Sox, they have two of those guys in Alex Verdugo and Kiké Hernández
The one bright spot in the 2020 season was the emergence of Verdugo. Even in a disastrous season and without fans in the stands, Verdugo came to the ballpark every day with an infectious energy that may not have rubbed off on his teammates but made the Red Sox a heck of a lot more watchable. Verdugo displayed even more personality in 2021, adopting the signature “rock the baby” hit celebration and becoming the Red Sox number-one mic’d up guy.
Hernandez arrived in Boston last offseason without much fanfare. In his six seasons with the Dodgers, Hernandez only topped 20 home runs once and hit over .260 once. He was projected to be just a part-time player in Boston, but he exceeded expectations and then some by totaling a career-high 4.9 WAR and became a postseason hero with a franchise-record 34 total bases in a five-game span. On top of that, his upbeat nature and reputation as a jokester made him beloved by fans and teammates alike.
Verdugo and Hernandez may not be the most talented players on the Red Sox, but they each have an integral role in their success. When the Red Sox hit an inevitable rough patch this season, it will be up to these two players to steer the team back on track.