Grading the Red Sox Projected Roster By Position

red sox positional grades

Entering a new season every team provides a certain level of comfort for their fans. If you are an Astros fan, you probably hardly have ever had much comfort and confidence going into a season, and on the other hand a team like the Yankees are customarily comfortable with every aspect of their team come Spring. The Red Sox and their fans tend to exude confidence around this time of year especially after winning the championship last season. I've decided to write out my personal level of confidence by grading the Red Sox projected roster by position.

Starting Pitcher
Projected Starters --- 1. John Lester 2. Clay Buchholz 3. John Lackey 4. Jake Peavy 5. Felix Doubront 6. Ryan Dempster
Comfort Level = B+ ----The old cliche goes " you can never have too much pitching" and this still holds true to this day. The Red Sox had a terrific year from their starters last season but despite last seasons consistency have a few question marks. Can Clay stay healthy? Can John Lackey repeat last years performance? Who will be the 5th starter? Until these questions are answered I am cautiously optimistic
The Bullpen
Projected Starters--- Uehara (CL), Breslow, Mujica, Tazawa, A.Miller
Comfort Level = A---- although the bullpen was close to a revolving door up until last season the Red Sox actually look extremely prepared with good depth in the pen. The addition of Mujica also adds another swing and miss talent to an already talented bullpen. The only reason this A- isn't a plus is because one injury can throw a bullpen completely off.
Catcher
Projected Starter --- AJ Pierzynski
Comfort Level = B+ The addition of AJ Pierzynski adds a solid veteran man with a lot of fight behind the plate and David Ross is a more than capable back up. The only draw back comes from whether Pierzynski can get on base. Either way I'm pretty confident because I don't care where the catcher hits or not.
First Base
Projected Starter --- Mike Napoli
Comfort Level = C-
Mike Napoli no doubt has the ability to play the position and add some legitimate right handed pop to the Red Sox lineup, but this is a guy who has injury trouble and with no significant back up this position is a problem waiting to happen. If he gets hurt or comes out hitting .200 through the first month the Red Sox May be in trouble.

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Second Base
Projected Starter --- Dustin Pedroia
Comfort Level = A+
Pedroia has been a cornerstone of this Red Sox organization for years and that shouldn't change this season. Expect another great season out of a great player. Plus he will look even better assuming Cano experiences a big contract slump.
Short Stop
Projected Starter --- Xander Bogaerts
Comfort Level = B-
Bogaerts looks to have all the tools to be a terrific player, but playing a 162 game big league season is much different than what he is used to. He likely will have a solid season and continue to grow while flashing superb talent, but I wouldn't be surprised if he experiences some droughts at the plate.
Third Base
Projected Starter --- Will Middlebrooks
Comfort Level = C the secrets out... Middlebrooks isn't the best contact hitter in the world, he also doesn't cover the outside half of the plate well. But Middlebrooks also flashes plus power and is a great doubles hitter at times. Middlebrooks is really a wild card for me tho season as I could see him hit .280 with 25 hr or 250 with 15. Hopefully the first of the two because as a fan I'm really rooting for him.
Left field
Projected Starter --- Daniel Nava/Jonny Gomes
Comfort Level = B
Nava and Gomes are both my pick to start I left field because they will be splitting a lot of time. They have both been solid players at the position the only reason the grade isn't higher is because I believe their ceiling from a production standpoint is low.
Center Field
Projected Starter ---Jackie Bradley
Comfort Level = B+
After not hitting well in his first elongated stint in the big leagues many people aren't as high on Bradley as they used to be, but I think extended game time while also being on a team that doesn't need incredible production out of him really works in his favor. Plus I am even more comfortable because I think Grady Sizemore can be a key role player this season as I wrote in an article last week.
Right Field 
Projected Starter --- Shane Victorino
Comfort Level = C+
I'm beginning to get the feeling that Victorino Is more than a bit past his prime. Although he had a serviceable season last year he just doesn't look like he can string together consistent at bats and is often injured. And behind him in the depth chart, Nava, Gomes, and Carp aren't spectacular.
Designated hitter 
Projected Starter --- David Ortiz
Comfort Level = B+
It seems like every year Red Sox fans and Analyst alike talk about how David Ortiz is "too old " and then he proves everyone wrong, but I'm gunna say it again. His age worries me! And if he gets another hampering injury like he has in the past he could be rendered ineffective. He will probably hit .350 now that I said that.

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