The offense which has as many thought would take steps back with the retirement of Ortiz has had an ebb and flow to their offense this season. Mookie Betts, who finished runner-up to Mike Trout in 2016 MVP race, has had his second 20/20 season.
As I pointed out with the pitching staff, in order to have the Red Sox make a successful run they need the offense to step up. Sadly, many including myself didn’t think Mookie would have the same success that he did last season and he hasn’t. The stats for are modest, given his track reccord. He’s hitting .260 with 22 homers and 89 RBI. To his credit, he has battled through multiple lineup changes – hitting leadoff, second, third, and cleanup this season.
Like Mookie, Xander Bogaerts has taken a step back in his offensive output this year. Xander has endured injuries that have played a big part in that. He was hit on the wrist prior to the All-Star Break in July. He also has battled groin problems which have sapped some strength from him. He’s still an above average hitter who is a gold glove defender at short.
The surprise of this season has been the arrivals of Andrew Benintendi, Eduardo Nunez, Mitch Moreland, and the emergence of Rafael Devers
Benintendi, who many picked in the offseason to win the Rookie of the Year, still has a great chance to do just that. He’s hitting .282 with 19 homers and a Red Sox rookie record 93 RBI’s has been a wonderful addition to this lineup. Nuñez who was acquired by Dombrowski in a early July trade, reignited a slumbering offense with his aggressive style both at the plate and on the bases.
Mitch Moreland who was signed as a free agent to play first and hopefully add some offense has had a career year. He set the world on fire earlier in the season earning the nickname, courtesy of Jared Carrabis, “Mitchy2bags” for all the first half doubles he hit. He did have a scuffle which occurred after fracturing a toe. However, in August and now September he has rediscovered his power stroke and has 19 homers.
Finally, the emergence of Rafael Devers. After enduring over two months of Pablo Sandoval before his finally being released, Devers was promoted in August and immediately made his impact known. In a Sunday Night game in New York, he took at Aroldis Chapman 102mph fastball and launched it into the left center bleachers.
— Never Forget Bot (@forgetmebot) August 18, 2017
He never seems to be fazed by the big moment and has a smile on his face. He’s definitely going to be a player that, like Mookie, Xander, JBJ, and Benintendi, will be in Boston for a long time.