How good can this Red Sox offense be? – Boston Globe (subscription)
Comments PrintBarry Chin/Globe Staff
The addition of Hanley Ramirez is among the reasons the Red Sox are projected to have the third-best offense in Major League Baseball
By Paul SwydanGlobe Correspondent March 06, 2015
No matter how many times we say it, the denizens of Red Sox Nation are not going to stop grumbling about the starting pitching until a wayward Phillies pitcher ends up in Boston.
But the offense is a different story. You have to look hard to find someone who isn’t bullish on this Red Sox offense. The talent on hand might evoke words like “best ever” or “historic.”
So let’s take a look at how this projected Red Sox offense stacks up against the team’s units of the past.
One of the statistics found at FanGraphs is Off, short for Offense. It combines batting runs above average and baserunning runs above average, and is scaled to league average, so it makes for a good comparison across years, though differences in games played in the years when the schedule was 154 games instead of 162 can skew things a bit.
Right now, the this year’s Red Sox are projected to be 17th-best in team history. That’s good news, considering this will be the franchise’s 115th season. But it could be better.
So, could they jump from 17th to first? Well, let’s first acknowledge that this probably won’t happen. That 2003 offense was legendary. That one decision by Grady Little really did rob the team of the remembrance it deserves. But let’s entertain it. Here’s what we need to see.
(A note about the FanGraphs team projections — they combine the Steamer and ZiPS systems to give a more balanced projection.)
Top 10 Red Sox offenses
Rated by Off, a FanGraphs measure of total offense scaled to league average.
Paul Swydan/Globe Correspondent
More Mookie, less Victorino
There are great unknowns with each player. Mookie Betts has a thin major league track record, and Shane Victorino is recovered from a back injury. You don’t need to look very far, though, to remember that back injuries tend to linger. Given Victorino’s approach at the plate, he can only be productive if he is hitting for a modicum of power. He wasn’t …Read More