Boston Red Sox – Predicted Finish: Fifth Place, AL East
The Red Sox have made A LOT of moves starting last season and through the winter meetings. We now need to examine what all those moves have meant to their players’ fantasy value. The Red Sox are loaded with question marks, from the top and their oft-injured superstar leadoff man, Jacoby Ellsbury, to the hope of a solid season from the newly acquired Shane Victorino. They also have a few potential timeshares or handcuffing situations to be aware of at shortstop and catcher.
Then we have the worry that it is finally the season David Ortiz slows down or how the back end guys fare with a full season of at-bats. I would certainly say that at-bats is the the key for ALL of the Boston hitters this year. The one nice thing about Fenway is it is a hitter friendly park, however, if the Sox cannot make good on a few of these question marks, they can easily find themselves as the embarrassment of the the AL East.
Let’s take a look at some numbers, shall we?
Red Sox Offense
Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Ellsbury, Victorino, Pedroia, Ortiz, Napoli, and Middlebrooks should all be valuable plays.
It will be interesting to see how things pan out with Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes. You’d think they would will get close to the 500+ at bats you’d hope for opening day lineup guys, BUT none of them have done so in the past three seasons. Also, a guy like Drew has to hold off a youngster like Jose Iglesias, who would be the logical replacement for him if he hits the DL at some point in the season.
Editor’s Note: We are aware that Mike Napoli has not yet officially signed with the Red Sox. But that’s a deal that was already agreed to, rather than a rumor, so we do feel comfortable including his name in the lineup. We are aware that the deal may officially fall through and if that happens, check back for updated projections.
Red Sox Pitching:
|1 Starter||Jon Lester||29||L||200||74||14||173||0||3.65||1.35|
|2 Starter||Ryan Dempster||36||R||185||64||11||165||0||3.84||1.29|
|3 Starter||Clay Buchholz||28||R||195||74||12||165||0||3.83||1.35|
Crackerjack Fantasy Options: These three will all bring value. I wouldn’t look beyond those starter for two reasons.
- Looking beyond the third starter of any staff is a risky fantasy play.
- The Red Sox pitching staff isn’t that deep.
I expect Hanrahan to get the nod over Andrew Bailey at closer, but Bailey is a guy to watch if Hanrahan gets hurt, or performs poorly.
Fantasy Star: Pedroia
Of course my star is Dustin Pedroia, I am a HUGE Pedroia fan. Although I have to give a somewhat unbiased opinion of how I think the projected third hitter for the Red sox will fare. With that, I think if you are only able to grab one three-hole hitter on your roster, this is not your guy. Pedroia is a tough gritty player that wills himself to perform at a very competitive level. However Pedroia tends to try to battle through injury, this typically leaves you with one or two dry spells of production.
What I do like about Pedroia, is that he is with a doubt one of the top-three second basemen in the game. Although position scarcity should not be a main factor in drafting, it can mean a huge difference in stats throughout the season when it comes down to nabbing Pedroia early or passing and having to roll with Chase Utley as your 2B.
Lastly, IF Pedroia can stay healthy and productive throughout the season, then he can very well be a 90 run, 20 homer, 100 RBI, 20 steals .300 guy. It may not be likely that he stays healthy, but that is incredible potential.
Fantasy Bust: Shortstop Position
I just think with the signing of Stephen Drew, that Drew nor Iglasias are going to nail down the full time at-bats needed to be an impactful season-long fantasy player. At bats are the most important thing in factoring value of fantasy players and if each of these guys only gets 300 at bats, there is no need to draft either player.
Fantasy Sleepers: Daniel Nava
With guys like Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Jacoby Ellsbury as the outfielders in front of him, I’d expect PLENTY of at bats for Daniel Nava in 2013. He also showed that he can produce when in the lineup last year, so I would certainly go after him if any one of these guys hits the DL, or if you need a replacement outfielder in a pinch.
More American League East Previews