Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Bottom of the Order

I’m lumping the last three batting positions into one post for a couple reasons. First, I’m running out of time. With Opening Day tomorrow, there will be more stuff to talk about than just previews. Second, I have to admit these haven’t been the most exciting posts. How any of you have gotten through them is beyond me. But, them most important reason is that these spots are the lumped together spots. I don’t expect any one guy to be at these spots exclusively. Sure, Salty will see the bulk of the action behind the plate. But, he’ll be replaced often, as all catchers are. Aviles may start the year at short. But, the general feeling is that Iglesias will be there by September. The right field looks to be a practical platoon once Crawford comes back. So, it seems silly to do a post on any one player in those positions.

That’s not to say that these positions will be bad. They just don’t stand out. Salty should have a fine season as he officially leaves Tek’s shadow. This is his team, and his staff now. That should be a nice weight taken off his shoulders. He should be able to put up numbers at least as good as last year’s.

In 2011, the Red Sox right fielders were the worst in baseball. Apparently, a statue of Dwight Evans would be an improvement. So, how can you not be pleased with any player going out there? It might not be an all-star, but it will be better.

As for shortstop, it’s not like they’re replacing Nomar out there. Scutaro was good, sure. But, I don’t think he did anything we can’t expect out of Aviles.

Basically, the best offense in Major League Baseball should see an improved bottom of the order in 2012. That’s an exciting prospect. Even if they players themselves aren’t.

So, what do I expect for this group? Rather than a player, I’ll go with a position prediction.

BA: .245
R: 65
HR: 20
RBI: 70
SB: 1
OBP: .290

Right Field
BA: .250
R: 50
HR: 10
RBI: 50
SB: 5
OBP: .320

BA: .290
R: 70
HR: 12
RBI: 65
SB: 12
OBP: .355

Now let the games begin, and see if I’m right!

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