As Tony Massarotti from 98.5 The Sports Hub would say, “keep it in your pants.”
The Boston Red Sox have had a very entertaining first quarter of the season and no one can question that. The young talent is performing as expected and the savvy veterans are playing like they’re still young pups. However, lets pump the breaks a bit before we find ourselves having our hearts broken.
Since the 2013 World Series season, there has been very little to enjoy about this team. Those seasons were over before they even started. So yes, this is a nice treat Red Sox Nation is getting right now.
Does everyone really think this team can continue at the pace they are currently at?
The Red Sox are a playoff contending team and that’s because the entire American League East has subpar pitching staffs. That factor alone, to go with the No. 1 rated offense in all of Major League Baseball, will keep this team afloat for the remainder of the season.
I hate to be negative, but this team won’t continue the offensive production it has shown us thus far.
Currently the Red Sox hold a team batting average of .297. The next best? Pittsburgh Pirates who have a team average of .283.
To go along with the Major League leading average, the team has five everyday players who are hitting above .300. Most teams don’t have two players who hit above .300, so that in itself is rare. They have seven regulars with an OPS over .800, unreal.
The Sox have a league best 264 runs scored, the closet American League team is the Cleveland Indians with 210.
All these offensive numbers are eye-popping and look great on paper. However, these players will come back down to earth while other teams will continue the paces they’re on.
Let’s start with David Ortiz. At the current rate Big Papi is on, he is on pace to have his second best batting average for his career, at the age of 40! You mean to tell me that a 40-year old can stay healthy enough to produce the way he is day after day? With his bad achilles tendons and beat up knees, I just don’t see it.
Coming into this season I was expecting Ortiz to give this team a solid .270 average with around 25 home runs and 85-100 RBI. What he’s doing now is all a bonus, but his numbers will dive down to normal and I expect him to bat around .290 by the end of the year and his career.
Next on my pump the breaks list is good ole’ Jackie Bradley Jr. It took this kid long enough to swing the bat but did anyone expect it to be this way? He’s currently hitting the stitching of the ball and not to mention he’s had a hitting streak that ranks among the all-time greats for a Red Sox player.
But let’s get real.
JBJ’s best season was in 2015 where he batted a measly .249. Lets not forget the only reason he hit that high was because a hot streak he had to end the season. Before that he batted .189 and .198, respectively.
Could JBJ have figured out major league pitching? Possibly, but he hasn’t figured it out to the point where he will continue to hit like Ted Williams.
Right now the Red Sox offense is exceeding all expectations to the point where they may have heated up too fast. Other teams in the AL are just a strong offensively as the Sox are, but they just haven’t hit stride yet.
I don’t want fans to get disappointed if the All-Star break rolls around and this Red Sox offense is just average. Realistically, we can not expect them to maintain this stature all season long but if they do, then you’d be witnessing one of the best offensive teams in baseball history.