Red Sox’ Offseason Additions Making an Impact at the Plate
Jul 9, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Boston Red Sox center fielder Alex Verdugo (99) tosses the ball during summer practice at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
So far in 2020, it has been hard to find many positives about the Boston Red Sox. After dominating Baltimore on Opening Day, Boston has dropped four straight and been outscored 23-13.
The offense, which was supposed to be a strength this season, has scored more than four runs just once.
While key players such as Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers have struggled, the Red Sox’ offseason acquisitions of Kevin Plawecki, Kevin Pillar, Alex Verdugo, and Jose Peraza are off to impressive starts.
When the Red Sox signed Pillar to a one-year deal in the winter, they expected him to serve as a depth piece with solid defense. So far, Pillar has done just that and been a sparkplug offensively. Through 12 at-bats, Pillar has four extra-base hits and five runs batted in. The Red Sox’ right fielder has an OPS of 1.667 and leads the team in hits with seven.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin1217) July 25, 2020
While Pillar has been a stabilizing force in the outfield, Jose Peraza has been red hot to start the 2020 season. Through 21 at-bats, Peraza is hitting .333 with two runs batted in. The former Reds infielder has seven hits, which is tied with Pillar for the team lead. Despite moving around the lineup, Peraza has been effective in every spot.
The Red Sox’ final addition offensively in free agency was Kevin Plawecki, who has been a reliable backup to Christian Vazquez. Although Plawecki has only appeared in two games, he has four hits in seven at-bats. Although he has displayed a small sample size, veteran backstop has impressed by driving in one run and notching the second-highest batting average on the team.
— Brendan Campbell (@brendan_camp) July 25, 2020
Of all the Red Sox newest pieces, however, the most-watched has been Alex Verdugo. The former Dodgers top prospect was the centerpiece of the Mookie Betts deal and has appeared in three games so far. In 12 at-bats, Verdugo is batting .333 and has an OPS of .667. While he has yet to record an extra-base hit, Verdugo has shown an ability to get on base and already made a few impressive plays defensively.
While these four have gotten off to hot starts, the season has only just begun. Their statistics could look very different a week from now as pitchers become more comfortable in what has been a forgettable season so far. However, the Red Sox’ newest faces have been a bright spot at the plate.
As the season progresses, the Red Sox bats will need to be at their best due to a pitching staff that isn’t very deep.
The Red Sox’ quartet of Pillar, Plawecki, Peraza, and Verdugo have proven that they can hold their own and must continue to do so.