Grading the 2022 Boston Red Sox with a mid-season report card
Red Sox outfielders
Alex Verdugo’s .266/.312/.395 slash line isn’t impressing anyone but he was on fire in June, slashing .337/.400/.505. Is this one hot month or a sign foreshadowing a strong second half? We know Verdugo is capable of hitting better than his overall season numbers suggest so this appears to be a player who is finally hitting his stride following a slow start.
Enrique Hernandez was hitting .209 with a .555 OPS before landing on the injured list. He still provides strong defense at multiple positions but he might be relegated to a utility role or platoon player when he returns. We all remember how hot Kike’s bat was last October so he’s certainly capable of stealing his job back, but the Red Sox seem to have better options in the outfield, at least against right-handed pitching.
Jackie Bradley Jr. remains an elite defensive outfielder but his offensive production is as maddeningly inconsistent as ever. JBJ might be the first ever home/road platoon player. He’s hitting .297/.330/.447 at Fenway but a pitiful .127/.193/.155 on the road.
Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder have provided a boost during Kike’s absence but they have combined for fewer at-bats than Hernandez tallied before his injury.
This is a very strong defensive unit, which salvages their grade. The limited production at the plate has been disappointing though. The Red Sox outfield should improve in the second half as Duran claims more playing time.