In 2021, the Boston Red Sox lineup will feature many new faces. One addition that is expected to have an important role is Hunter Renfroe. The Red Sox signed Renfroe to a one-year deal in December after he posted a .156 average in 42 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last year. Although the 29-year-old struggled in 2020, he has hit 97 home runs in his first five major league seasons. In Spring Training, Renfroe has been one of the Red Sox best hitters and has made a good first impression.
Through 19 spring games, Renfroe is hitting .255 and has driven in ten runs. The former first-round pick has also hit three home runs, and his power has been on display at times. He has been aggressive at the plate, which has led to him being one of Boston’s most effective bats. Almost every game, Renfroe has found a way to make an impact.
Although Renfroe is known for his power, he showed that his arm is not to be taken lightly last week. Against Tampa Bay, he fired a bullet to third to nail Randy Arozarena as he was trying to advance from first to third on a single by Yandy Diaz. It was Renfroe’s first assist of the spring and one of his most impressive highlights with Boston so far.
Allow us to introduce you to Hunter Renfroe's cannon. pic.twitter.com/zsac8Q7fwJ
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 22, 2021
As the Red Sox prepare for Opening Day, Renfroe will be looking to turn the page on 2020. Last season he was more passive than in years past, as his swing rate was down about five percent compared to his career average. The former Ray was also swinging at fewer pitches in the zone, which increased the amount of breaking balls he saw. In Alex Cora‘s time in Boston, he has pushed his hitters to be aggressive, which should help Renfroe.
What to expect from Renfroe in 2021
Although Renfroe has a .228 career average, his impact lies in his power. In Renfroe’s career, he has hit 26 or more home runs in three of his five major league seasons. The Mississippi native has also hit 75 doubles in his career while being only one season removed from hitting a career-high 33 home runs. With a more aggressive approach and a full season, he should be an effective piece and see his name in the lineup often against lefties.
In 2021, Renfroe is expected to spend time in center and left field. If he can return to his 2019 form, then he will be one of Boston’s power threats. In spring training, he has shown that the could be an important peace this upcoming season.