Boston Red Sox: Predicting the Full-Season Stats of Entire Starting Lineup
The hardest aspect of a player is to predict exactly how well they will do in a full season at the plate, but I am going to do my best with the nine everyday players for the Boston Red Sox.
The Sox had one of the best lineups in the entire MLB in 2011 and in 2012, that should not change too much. Hopefully they'll get better with Carl Crawford returning to form after a dreadful 2011 season.
After a 32-home run and 38-stolen base campaign in 2011, Jacoby Ellsbury will look to regain both his speed and power in 2012.
Ellsbury will be one of the best overall center fielders in the majors in 2012. He will bat over .300 for the fourth time in six seasons. He will hit 25 or more homers and steal 40 or more bases.
It is possible to see his power numbers around 30, but that could take a hit on his stolen bases in the long run.
Ellsbury won't be in the running for MVP again unless he can make the same noise with his bat with runners in scoring position, but expect Ellsbury to be Mr. Clutch for the Red Sox in 2012.
Dustin Pedroia had yet another solid year with a .307 batting average, 21 home runs and 91 RBI. He will yet again be on the MVP radar come the end of the 2012 season thanks to the lineup around him.
Pedroia will be the best second baseman in the AL East thanks to a .315 average, 30 home runs and he could possibly hit the 100 RBI mark. He has never had more than 26 homers and 91 RBI in a season.
He will be the talk of the nation at second base with gritty defense and offensive numbers that put him as an elite second baseman.
Adrian Gonzalez is poised and ready to lead the Boston Red Sox back into the postseason. His shoulder is finally fully healed and with that behind him, he can now fully extend his arms for more power on his swing.
Gonzalez mustered only 27 homers in 2011, but was close to the top in MLB with 117 RBI. With the same amount of opportunities with runners on base in 2012, he should easily hit around .300 with 45 home runs and 125 RBI.
These numbers should easily put him in MVP talks and allow him to carry the team's offense during stretches over the summer.
Kevin Youkilis struggled mightily in 2011 due to injury, but that was only because he played too hard at third base.
Youkilis will have a bounce-back season in 2012 because he does not want to be remembered by Sox fans as the player who hurt himself by playing tough defense at third, but could not get the job done at the plate.
He hit a career-low .258 with 17 home runs and 80 RBI in 2011. Without any injuries (knock on wood), he should hit .280 with 24 homers and 90 RBI in 2012.
Just make sure to still play pretty good defense at third, Kevin.
David Ortiz is going to decline very soon, but 2012 is not his year to decline at the plate based on his 2011 success.
The 36-year-old is doing everything in his power to stay healthy. He even shed 20 pounds before spring training started.
Big Papi won't hit .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBI in 2012, but he should be able to hit .285 with 26 homers and maybe 90 RBI—if he can stay on the field and his power numbers don't take a hit with his aging body.
Cody Ross reminds me of Trot Nixon on both the offensive and defensive sides of the baseball. The Boston Red Sox need an outfielder who can do the dirty work to win ball games.
Ross was dreadful with the San Francisco Giants in 2011 with 14 home runs, 52 RBI and a ,240 average. Maybe Fenway Park could make a difference in 2012.
In 2012, Ross should be able to hit at least .270 with 18 homers and possibly 70 RBI. At least he will be able to stay on the field, unlike a certain other outfielder (*cough, cough* J.D. Drew).
Carl Crawford may not be ready for Opening Day, but he is ready to get back on track after a horrible first season with the Boston Red Sox in which he hit .255 with 11 home runs and 18 stolen bases.
Expect to see Crawford with at least 35 to 40 stolen bases in 2012 and a .290 average with 15 or more homers. Unless, of course, his wrist comes into play and it bothers him the rest of his career and he is never the same like Nomar Garciaparra.
But that should not happen because Crawford is young and can heal faster than if he was in his mid-30s.
Mike Aviles is playing great this spring and is earning that shortstop position based on great offense and pretty good defense. He makes all the routine plays and his bat is an extra bonus.
Jose Iglesias will eventually be called up, but Aviles will supply the Boston Red Sox with a .280 average, 14 home runs and maybe 60 RBI with his bat before Iglesias gets the nod due to his stellar glove and speed.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit only .235 with 16 homers and 56 RBI in 2011. His 2012 numbers should be about the same, even though he will be the starting catcher for the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Salty will hit .250 with 18 home runs and possibly 65 RBI with the Red Sox in 2012 and could be an even hotter commodity if he can bat .275 with 20 dingers and 70 RBI.
Saltalamacchia will be welcomed as one of the best behind the plate in 2012 based on how the pitchers can deal with a new face catching them everyday, but Salty should do just fine.