What To Expect From Kevin Plawecki In 2021by Jamie Gatlin December 30, 2020 2 comments
Before the 2020 season began, the Boston Red Sox signed Kevin Plawecki to a one-year deal worth $900,000. The addition was not seen as a major upgrade at the time but turned out to be one of the Red Sox’s best additions. In a season full of disappointment, the Illinois native was a bright spot and a hitting machine. While Plawecki will mostly likely regress offensively, he will play an important role on the Red Sox 2021 roster.
Heading into last season, Plawecki was not known for his offense as he has only hit above .222 in a full season once. In a shortened 2020 campaign, Plawecki hit .341 with an OBP of .393. Despite only playing in 26 games, the Red Sox catcher had 28 hits, which was only seven less than his total from 2019, when he appeared in 59 games. Every time Plawecki was at-bat, he seemingly found a way to get on base.
Enter Kevin Plawecki: pic.twitter.com/35XeaJjxYv
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 17, 2020
Additionally, Plawecki had 17 runs batted in, which matched his total from 2019. While the former first-round pick thrived offensively, he was also solid behind the plate. Plawecki only committed one error in the field while throwing out 25 % of would be base stealers. Along with Christian Vazquez, the Red Sox had one of the best defensive tandems at the position in baseball.
Furthermore, Plawecki was rewarded for his play this offseason with a one-year deal worth $ 1.6 million. The deal represents a solid raise for Plawecki, who excelled in every aspect of the game. He will have the same role this upcoming season but will receive more playing time due to a longer schedule. While that shouldn’t affect his defense, it may bring down his offensive numbers.
— Justin Groc (@jgroc) September 12, 2020
What To Expect From Plawecki in 2021
In 2020 Plawecki made contact on an impressive 94 percent of the pitches he swung at in the zone. That was 12 points higher than his career rate. The veteran catcher also made more contact against breaking balls but walked at a career-low rate. With a larger sample size expected this upcoming season, his numbers should regress closer to his career norms. In 2020 however, Plawecki showed that he could be a solid backup catcher and provided an offensive punch that Sandy Leon could not.
As the Red Sox look to return to the postseason, they are in solid hands with Vasquez and Plawecki behind the plate. The duo was one of the Red Sox strengths last season, and they will be looking to repeat that magic. Regardless of how the season plays out, fans can expect solid defense from Plawecki with some offense sprinkled in.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images