Has Red Sox infield quieted Vaughn Grissom frustration and trade deadline urgency?

The duo of Enmanuel Valdez and David Hamilton might be enough to carry the Red Sox through the summer.
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Jaiden Tripi/GettyImages

Last week, it was reported that the Boston Red Sox hope to trade for a left-handed starting pitcher and potentially a short-term shortstop to fill in until Trevor Story can return in 2025.

Red Sox fans would love for the front office to add a lefty starter and the resurgence of infielder Enmanuel Valdez and the strong play of David Hamilton could allow Craig Breslow to save his resources to address other needs, rather than trade for a shortstop this summer.

Valdez posted a rough first stint with the team earlier this year. He hit .176/.192/.328 and was summarily demoted in favor of erstwhile Sox infielder Zack Short. However, his approach has changed drastically since his return, and the results have followed.

Valdez is batting .341/.431/.750 with more walks than strikeouts since Boston recalled him on May 29. While nobody expects Valdez to be a superstar, he was a good hitter for the Sox in 2023. To a point, this feels more like a return to the norm than a real breakout.

Enmanuel Valdez and David Hamilton look like a permanent middle infield solution for the Red Sox

Though he's not a premium defender at any position, Valdez's bat has been enough to carry him to success in the past. As long as he's playing this well, Sox fans can rest easy and allow Vaughn Grissom to continue his development at his own pace.

Thankfully for Boston, infielder David Hamilton has been up to the task as well. Like Valdez, he isn't an above-average defender but his overall performance has been a major boost for Alex Cora's offense.

Hamilton is batting .286/.335/.435 with good plate discipline through 52 games. His 21 steals are the fifth most in baseball and he's been a serviceable defender at short, enough to shift Ceddanne Rafaela back to the outfield most days.

The duo of Hamilton and Valdez has been a surprising success over the past three weeks, and all of the expected stats based on batted ball data suggest that these trends will continue. They could be a major boon to Breslow and the Red Sox — if they can rely on Hamilton and Valdez in the middle infield, the front office could shift their resources before the trade deadline to acquire an impact starting pitcher.

It'd be a shame to waste prospect capital on a short term guy like Paul DeJong, for example, only for him to come flame out in Boston.

Sox fans are still patiently waiting for top prospect Marcelo Mayer to make his way to Boston. But in the meantime, Valdez and Hamilton might be a good enough duo to make fans think twice about going outside the organization for a middle infielder at the trade deadline.

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