Grading the 2017 Boston Batters

Comic Credit: Chino Valley School District

My junior year of high school I got a report card consisting of 3 D’s and 2 F’s. I did manage to pass gym class and study hall, at least.  The 2017 Red Sox were much better than that; they had 23 guys pick up a piece of lumber, and swing it mightily. They’re graded below, in order of AB’s, and the slash line associated with each player is of the AVG/HR/RBI/R variety.

Chase d’Arnaud: 1.000/0/0/2

Hey, he hit 1.000. How low can I go? I’d give him an A, but his only hit was a single.

Grade: C+

Blake Swihart: .200/0/0/1

Another limited season for Blakey. The 25 year old will make an impact, somewhere, someday.

Grade: C-

Steve Selsky: .111/0/0/0

One time, Selsky doubled. A strong spring translated to nothing.

Grade: D

Rajai Davis: .250/0/2/7

Davis was just a late season spark plug, but did exactly what he was expected to: steal and score.

Grade: B-

Tzu-Wei Lin: .268/0/2/7

Lin provided some energy and a slew of slap singles after a call-up, when Marrero’s bat started doing more harm than good. He (or Deven) could be 2018’s Brockstar. Or trade bait. Either way, it’s something.

Grade: B-

Marco Hernandez: .276/0/2/7 

Yet another player with an 0/2/7 slash line, Hernandez could have seen some quality playing time at 3rd if he didn’t land on the 60-day DL.

Grade: C-

Sam Travis: .263/0/1/13

I’m starting to see why Boston lacked the long ball; nobody hit any. Travis’ numbers were very underwhelming, and no bombs in 76 AB’s is borderline inexcusable for a corner infielder.

Grade: C-

Pablo Sandoval: .212/4/12/10

At least he hit a few over the wall for crying out loud. One of the worst free agent acquisitions the Red Sox have ever made. I think he hit a walk off for San Fran in September, which is more than he ever did here.

Grade: F for failure, but also for Fat

Josh Rutledge: .224/0/9/10

I like Rutledge, personally. But him, Lin, Herny and Holt were practically spitting images of each other in ’17, and he may not be back next year due to that. And his subpar defense. And his lack of power.

Grade: C-

Brock Holt: .200/0/7/20

Glad that he came back from a concussion and vertigo, not glad that he barely eeked past the Mendoza line. Hard to believe he’s a former all-star at this point.

Grade: C

Eduardo Nunez w/ BOS: .321/8/27/23 

Finally, someone that actually did something at the plate this year. Nunez needs no blurb, we’re all aware of his impact, pending free agency, injury, and production. Considering he was acquired for a mid level prospect, this may be a top three move by DD.

Grade: A-

Deven Marrero: .211/4/27/32

Although his impact was greater on the field than with the stick-thing he used, Marrero was incredibly valuable for Boston. He righted the ship at 3rd, and for 50+ games before his demotion, he was integral to the team. Deven hit lefties well, and put together a nice little 8 game hitting streak. He has a gun, a glove, knows how to set his feet and is incredibly instinctual. An unsung hero of the 2017 campaign.

Grade: B

Rafael Devers: .284/10/30/34

I won’t hold everyone in suspense; an A for Rafy. He came up, mashed, started striking out, and made adjustments. Quickly, made adjustments, as opposed to Aaron Judge who still can’t lay off the high cheese. His defense was better than expected (sans some late season miscues) and he gave the Sox exactly what they wanted: power, production and reliability. A .482 SLG% was just why the doctor ordered, and his ding dong off Chapman set the precedent for the type of player he’ll be. If he’s not a perennial all-star, something’s amiss.

Chris Young: .235/7/25/30

I’d say yuck, but I’m scared of David Price. A down year for the aging outfielder, Young didn’t give Boston what they wanted in the second year of his deal. You need more out of a 4th OF, but he averaged 1 XBH per 11 at bats. So he wasn’t exactly a dumpster fire.

Grade: D+

Sandy Leon: .225/7/39/32

The backup catcher somehow logged only 44 fewer at bats than Colo, but he’s a quality backstop. He throws out runners, provides occasional power, and you can’t hold his 2016 year against him. He did what he did, and we knew it wouldn’t last. Will he be back, or give way to Swihart next season?

Grade: C-

Christian Vazquez: .290/5/32/43

His heroics against Cleveland on August 1st all but locked him in as the team’s number one catcher for 2017 and beyond, as if his bat productivity, defense and stalwart throwing arm hadn’t already done that. Can’t wait to see what he’ll accomplish over 135 games. 7 steals in 9 attempts is worth a mention.

Grade: B+

Dustin Pedroia: .293/7/62/46

Pedey was the only Sox with more walks than K’s, but just 19 dubs and 7 long ones isn’t the power that were used to seeing from the aging second basemen. Limited to 105 games, surgery, rehab & rest may delay his start next season. I’ll give him a break in the leadership category, as I’m not necessarily grading intangibles here.

Grade: B-

Jackie Bradley Jr.: .245/17/63/58

So-so production out of the center fielder, and it all came from the bottom of the order. But he’s a phenomenal outfielder, and had one of the years top plays when he gunned a runner out at the plate trying to score.. from 3rd. Robbed a few home runs, and didn’t ask Eckersley to pose for a picture. However, a 2.8:1 K/BB ratio is pretty stinky. Can he improve on that, entering his age-28 season?

Grade: B

Hanley Ramirez: .242/23/62/58

Han-Ram did not ram this year. He was a major disappointment, and the 23 home runs is the only thing I have good to say about him. The lefty killer was instead killed by lefties, he needed a spa day after every 1B start, the average wasn’t there, the hustle wasn’t there, and the helmet wasn’t there either. Hopefully it was all injury related, and he can heal after his offseason surgery. I think he can bounce back.

Grade: C-

Mitch Moreland: .246/22/79/73

We hardly knew ya, Mitch! Considering his average season consists of .245/23/76 and great defense, I’d say he was exactly what the Red Sox envisioned. Finished 2nd on the roster in doubles, only to the 2016 MVP runner up. Wasn’t spectacular, but wasn’t bad either.

Grade: B

Xander Bogaerts: .273/10/62/94

We need more out of Xander than a .270ish batting average and 10 lowly homers. Other than that, he was a good contributor. 15/16 in stolen base attempts, nearly scored 100 runs, posted an OBP of .343, and lets give the young man a break; he’s still 24.

Grade: C+

Andrew Benintendi: .271/20/90/84

Beni was all over the lineup this year, even cleaning up for a bit in May. The average was down, but 25 HR and 100 RBI is in his future. Baserunning was a major issue, but the speed and aggressiveness is there. If JBJ is moved in part of a Stanton deal, Andrew will move back to his minor league position of centerfield, where those numbers hold more value than a corner outfielder spot. Could be a perennial 20/20 player.

Grade: B+

Mookie Betts: .264/24/102/101

The star right fielder led Boston in runs, steals, homers, RBI, doubles, slugging, OPS, and intentional walks. The average wasn’t great, but it wasn’t indicative of his production. He’s been Boston’s best player for two years now, and barring the acquisition of a superstar, could continue to be for as long as he wears the uniform.

Grade: A

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About Gerard Lombardo

OEF Veteran with a penchant for Red Sox baseball and expedient sways of emotional stability.
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