By JUSTIN HANSON (@HunterHanson1)
Photo credit goes to the Boston Herald.
*Note: All stats used in this article were before May 22.
The Boston Red Sox offense is absolutely killer this year. It’s leading the league in a whole slew of key offensive categories: Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP), Isolated Power, Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA), Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) and offensive Runs Created. Yes, I like sabermetrics.
But for you traditional stats fans, the Red Sox also lead the majors in batting average with a massive .296 -- nearest team is the Pirates at .279; nearest AL team is the Tigers at .265 -- on-base percentage and slugging -- .485, next best is the Cardinals at .464; next best AL team is the Orioles at .449.
But who cares how many people get on base if nobody scores? After all, runs win games, no matter how they come. As a fan, the worst thing ever is when your team is always on base but can’t seem to score. It feels like this.
Photo credit goes to SB Nation.
The BoSox also lead the league in runs scored, though, with a whopping 256 prior to May 22’s games. That number is 13 more than the second-best Cardinals and 24 more than the powerful Cubs. Get this, though: The Red Sox have scored 55 more runs than any other AL team. FIFTY FIVE. This offense is a machine. In a recent homestand, they scored 14, 13, 13 and 11 runs in consecutive games.
So how are they doing it? A wonderful combination of young talent and experienced veterans. Let’s look at the rising stars first.
Xander Bogaerts: One of my favorite players as far as names go, X is hitting like a mad man this year. Bogaerts is hitting .346, has 25 RBI and an on-base percentage of nearly .400. His improvements this year have been huge for the team’s success.
Mookie Betts: Another excellent name, Mookie is pulling his own weight on the team now. His average is a solid but not special .279, but he has contributed nine dingers and 33 RBI. He is also drastically improving as the year goes on: His average in the last 30 games is .301; in the last 15 it is .343, and in the last seven it is over .400.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: This man is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Hitting .342 on the year with a .413 on-base percentage and a massive 1.031 OPS, Bradley is a key cog in the “Run Machine.” He also sports 33 RBI and eight homers.
Travis Shaw: Shaw isn’t the guy you think of immediately for the Sox, but he finds ways to contribute. He is hitting over .300 on the year with 29 RBI and six round-trippers.
Now let’s look at the contributions of the veterans.
David Ortiz: Big Papi is still the big dog on this team. With a .329 average, 37 RBI and 11 dingers, you better believe Bostonians are praying Papi comes back next year. He may be getting up there in age, but he can still produce at the plate.
Hanley Ramirez: HanRam is batting .315 and seems like he is on base every time he is up. He gets hits when it matters and lends needed experience to a team of rising talent.
Dustin Pedroia: He may not be the same guy that he has been in the past, but he is still getting the job done. Pedroia has posted a .293 average, 20 RBI and six bombs so far this season. Look for him to pick the team up on occasion when others are struggling.
Overall, this team is really finding its groove. Hopefully they can stay in it, because good offense is fun to watch. And besides, a surging Red Sox makes a happy Big Papi, and nothing is better than a happy Big Papi.
David Ortiz. Photo credit goes to oldtimefamilybaseball.com.