A day after landing Mike Napoli, the Red Sox are at it again. Today, Boston signed Shane Victorino to a three-year deal.
Let’s take a look at what kind of talent the Flyin’ Hawaiian will have around him. If the season started today, this is what the team’s website says their depth chart would look like. (Note – Neither Napoli or Victorino are officially on the team so not listed on the team, but the finalization of their deals is imminent, so I’ll plug them in.)
- Catcher - Mike Napoli
- First Base - Mauro Gomez
- Second Base - Dustin Pedroia
- Third Base - Will Middlebrooks
- Shortstop - Jose Iglesias
- Left Field - Jonny Gomes
- Center Field - Jacoby Ellsbury
- Right Field - Shane Victorino
- Designated Hitter - David Ortiz
I’d be lying if I said that was the deepest looking lineup in the world, but it’s pretty dang imposing at the top. You’re probably looking at Ellsbury leading off, Victorino hitting second, Pedroia third, Ortiz clean up, Napoli fifth, and Middlebrooks sixth. I like the immediate lineup surroundings for all of those players, and plenty of chances to hit with men on base, and then score runs once on base. I also expect the Red Sox to add another bat, which will only make the fantasy values of these guys greater.
Let’s start with the new kid on the block, Victorino. He’s a better career hitter from the right side (.301 average as a righty vs. .271 as a lefty) and has 40 career homers from the right side against 49 from the left side, which is much closer than it should be, considering he has well more than twice the at-bats from the left side as he has from the right.
Although his homers don’t tend to be towering so the Green Monster may come into play, the short left field porch at Fenway will be good for his power. But from a fantasy perspective, I really like his potential as a lefty. First of all, anyone familiar with Pesky’s Pole knows that if you can yank a ball directly down the right field line at Fenway, you can get a pretty cheap homer. But that’s not what excites me.
No, what excites me is how quickly the wall jets out into a pretty deep poke. That will hurt Victorino’s left handed power a bit, but let’s face it, he’s not a guy you draft to your fantasy team for big home run pop. With that huge gap and his speed, Fenway will be a haven for extra base hits. Remember, this is already a guy who’s led the National League in triples twice despite playing his home games at a fairly compact Citizen’s Bank Park. I see many singles becoming doubles and doubles becoming triples this year for Victorino.
Now, extra base hits isn’t a standard fantasy category, but runs are, as are RBI. If he’s hitting behind Ellsbury, those extra base hits will bring Jacoby around, producing some RBI opportunities. If he’s in scoring position for the likes of Pedroia, Ortiz, and Napoli, he’s going to score a lot of runs. In a text exchange I had with Clave and Nash, I said that if he plays 150 games, he’ll hit more triples than any AL player not named Mike Trout in 2013.
We also have to remember that Victorino is a stolen base machine. He’s only failed to steal 20 bases once since 2007, and that was a year where he missed 30 games and still nabbed 19. He swiped 15 in Los Angeles a season ago while playing only 53 games for Dodgers.
I am not going to give my normal projection range here, because I have a feeling the Red Sox aren’t done and I don’t want to get too specific until I have a better idea of what that roster can look like. But I do want to put some numbers out there to see what you can expect in the worst case or best case scenario, assuming of course that he remains relatively healthy.
- Runs: 80-110
- HR: 8-18
- RBI: 55-85
- SB: 25-40
- AVG: .245-295
Obviously there are some pretty big ranges there, so you can make your own bets as to where he goes. I am not going to tell you that “Shane Victorno is Scary Good,” but his fantasy stock did just go up a significant amount with this move.
At Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks, we have written a lot about some of the moves that have taken place at the ongoing Winter Meetings in Memphis, as well as some moves that happened leading up to them.. If you haven’t had the chance, take a look at our takes on some of the moves.
- Mims broke down Mike Napoli signing with the Red Sox.
- Nash took a look at what to expect now that Angel Pagan is returning to the Giants. He also gave his take on Jonathan Broxton re-signing with the Reds and not only what that does to his fantasy value, but also the value of Aroldis Chapman and Greg Holland.
- Dixon took a crack at Dan Haren signing with the Nationals, and also gave his opinion on what to expect B.J. Upton to do with the Braves.