Boston Red Sox breakout candidates for the 2022 season

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he drove in winning run against the Cleveland Indians in the ninth inning at Fenway Park on September 4, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 04: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he drove in winning run against the Cleveland Indians in the ninth inning at Fenway Park on September 4, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

These Red Sox hitters are poised for a breakout season in 2022

Alex Verdugo and Bobby Dalbec are primed for breakout seasons for the Boston Red Sox in 2022.

We all know Verdugo’s heart and hustle on the field has captured both the Fenway Faithful and teammates alike. His improved bat and glove this season will just enhance those feelings. I strongly believe the cornerstone piece of the Mookie Betts trade will find himself taking that next step the team needs in order to win more baseball games this season.

Verdugo’s defense is off the charts. He has a cannon of an arm and has adjusted nicely to playing the 37-foot tall Green Monster in left field. In 2021, Verdugo had 7 defensive runs saved playing in left field.

Part of the 25-year-old’s breakout campaign will include batting close to .300 on the season, hitting 15-20 home runs, collecting 80-100 runs batted in, scoring close to 100 runs, and hitting 40 doubles. He doesn’t need to hit for power in this lineup. The Red Sox have J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Trevor Story to hit those dingers.

Personally, I do not want another Andrew Benintendi situation where the hitting staff tries to make Verdugo change his approach to hit for more power. That did not work out in the case with Benny and I do not want to see it with Verdugo. He needs to keep his organic approach at the plate and if power comes from it, great. If not, it’s okay because there are plenty of guys in the Sox lineup that can produce those numbers.

My second breakout candidate for the 2022 Boston Red Sox is none other than Bobby Dalbec. Last season was an up and down year for the first baseman. The first half was miserable when he hit to a tune of .219 with 95 strikeouts in 72 games played. The second half was a different story. Bobby D lit it up, especially in August when he received AL Rookie of the Month honors by hitting .339 with 7 home runs, 21 runs batted in, 21 hits, and just 18 strikeouts in 24 games played.

I believe a big part of that hot streak was a result of the Red Sox acquiring Kyle Schwarber via the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline. Dalbec seemed motivated by the trade and it ignited something in him to fight for his position on the team.

It looks like that hot second half of 2021 is continuing here in the early part of spring training with his first two dingers of the spring happening in the first two games. He is going to need to keep that momentum going into the season because the Sox have Tristan Casas ready to go down in Triple AAA Worcester and Devers is not going anywhere, anytime soon (we hope!).

I have complete faith that Dalbec will keep showing the team, the coaches, and the front office that he belongs in a Red Sox uniform as the everyday first baseman. He will continue to hone his skills at any position Alex Cora puts him in just like he did last year by playing shortstop and third base while maybe seeing some action this year in the outfield. All of this will lead to a breakout campaign for the young 25-year-old.

Chris Archer could help bolster Sox pitching staff. dark. Next