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Red Sox First-Half Player Grades

My grades for every active member of the Red Sox for the first half of the season.

Now that we’re at the All-Star break, let’s take a look back on some Boston Red Sox players and how they performed in the first half.

Hitters

Mitch Moreland/1B…Grade: B
Moreland had a really great start to the season. He had 12 doubles in the month of April which earned him the nickname “Mitchie Two-Bags”, but that number only went up by seven. He had home runs in three consecutive games twice when they needed him the most. However, for each hit streak, he has had a cold streak to match it.

Dustin Pedroia/2B…Grade: B+
Pedroia has not committed an error at all season, which speaks for itself.
But like everyone else, he hasn’t been much of a power hitter, but it hasn’t been much of a problem as he’s batting .300 and reaching base almost four out of ten at-bats.

Xander Bogaerts/SS…Grade: B
Although he wasn’t voted into the All-Star Game, he is really at that level this year. Even though he didn’t have a home run until late May, he’s been getting on base and scoring pretty easily. He has a total of 143 bases, 97 hits and 50 runs. Not bad.

Deven Marrero/3B…Grade: B
If this list were for the past two weeks, he would definitely have an “A”, but that’s not the case. He was called upon May 5 to help ease the third base struggles, but at first it didn’t work out. But slowly over time, he became more valuable to the team. Over this past few weeks, he has been put in spots where he has needed to either score runners, or advance runners in key situations. And he has been doing just that. I see him having a bright future.

Sandy Leon/C…Grade: C
He’s only had one real claim to fame this year, and that was his walkoff bomb in the second game of the season. After that, he’s really gone quiet with the bat. He is batting .244, which is not ideal. But, the main reason he is here is because Chris Sale loves to have him catching. He’s been shaken off just a few times. That’s served himself and Sale well.

Christian Vazquez/C…Grade: B-
He started the season as the backup catcher to Leon, but a Leon slump lead to his promotion as number one. He hasn’t had that much of a better batting year than his counterpart, but he is getting the job done behind the plate. His batting average is just 13 more points than Leon.

Chris Young/OF…Grade: C
It hasn’t been much of a great year for the 33-year-old veteran. He was one of the three everyday outfielders to begin the season, but his playing time got substantially reduced when he was not producing. He is only batting .255, which as history shows, is not out if the ordinary for him.

Andrew Benintendi/LF…Grade: B+
He started the season with a great big bang, then he went cold and was hitless for 26 at-bats. It lasted an entire week. That was rough for him. I almost lost all faith, but I’m glad I didn’t. This kid is special. He’s batting .279 with 12 bombs and 38 walks. He’s not only great at the plate, he’s also a force in left. He has an absolute cannon, but he just needs to learn how to use it properly.

Jackie Bradley Jr./CF…Grade: B+
There probably won’t be any 30-game hitting streaks going around this year for JBJ, like last season. This year he is batting .280, and if he holds that, he will have a new career-high batting average. He has been a fairly decent source of power with 12 dingers thus far.His fielding is also spectacular. They were many point sthroughout the season where he was catching balls that most others wouldn’t even have had a chance at.

Mookie Betts/RF…Grade: A-
All-Star starting outfielder. 29 doubles and 16 home runs. He has drawn 42 walks, seven shy of a career-best. Coming into the season, he had a solid streak of at-bats without striking out. He brought the streak well into the hundreds before he did finally did fan.

Hanley Ramirez/DH…Grade: C-
This guy is proof that loss of David Ortiz’ presence is really hurting. He is softest designated hitter I’ve seen. Just 13 home runs and 71 hits.

Pitchers

Fernando Abad/RP…Grade: B+
This is Abad’s first full year with the club since being traded near the end of last season for Pat Light. He was decent last year, but even better now. His combined ERA last year was 3.66, but this year it is at 2.93. So this is clearly a big step in the right direction for him.

Matt Barnes/RP…Grade: C+
Not much of a major improvement from last year. His ERA is down 50 points, but he is still riding high in the 3.50s. He has been able to get starters out jams multiple time, so that’s good for him.

Heath Hembree/RP…Grade: B
This year could be the year that Heath Hembree pitches a complete season in the majors. He has pitched 40 1/3 innings thus far and has struck out 44 batters, but allowed 49 hits.
The main reason his ERA is so high (3.57) is because he tossed one-third of an inning and allowed four earned runs in early May. That raised his ERA from 2.45 to 4.34.

Joe Kelly/RP…Grade: A-
Switching to a relief role was the best thing that could have ever happened to Kelly. His skills transferred from the end of last year to 2017. He’s rocking a 1.49 ERA and an average fastball speed of 99 MPH. Until the last game of the first half, he had a streak of 23 scoreless innings pitched, which at the time was the longest active streak in the majors.

Craig Kimbrel/CP…Grade: A+
A WHIP of 0.50, an ERA of 1.19, a four-strikeout inning and an immaculate inning all within one half of the baseball season? Kimbrel has done it. Truly the most improved player on this club from last year. In 2016 he had an ERA of 3.40. Just let that sink in.

Robby Scott/RP…Grade: B
Ah, the lefty specialist. His season started good, but then early July rolled around and three appearances where a run was allowed in each can negatively add up.
Aside from a few slips recently, he’s been pretty decent.

Drew Pomeranz/SP…Grade: A-
After some troubles early on in the season with pitching deep into games, Pomeranz really settled in and has tossed gems nearly every time he takes the mound. In 14 of his 17 starts, he allowed two or less runs.

Rick Porcello/SP…Grade: D+
It’s hard to believe this guy is the reigning AL Cy Young winner. Granted not all his loses were not entirely his fault, most of them were. There were nine of 19 total games where the right-hander allowed three or less runs and ended up with a loss or a no decision. He has had little support all season and it’s tough to watch. But for every good start he has had, there has been a bad one. There have been seven starts were he’s allowed four or more earned runs, totalling 36 runs. He has allowed 147 runs in 119.1 innings pitched. That’s not exactly what you expect from someone of his caliber.

Chris Sale/SP…Grade A+
A .275 ERA over 127.2 innings with a WHIP of .90 That is all.

 

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