The Boston Red Sox had their fair share of surprises and disappointments in 2012—more on the side of disappointments, though—as the club finished in the cellar of the American League East.
Although their win-loss record doesn’t reflect anything positive from last season, don’t forget that Boston was still solid in several offensive categories. The Red Sox scored the eighth-most runs, had the 10th-highest batting average and the 12th-highest slugging percentage.
Injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks never gave former manager Bobby Valentine the opportunity to field a consistent lineup. Boston ended up using 143 batting orders, and the most common was only put to use four times.
General manager Ben Cherington has made a couple of changes to his team’s offense in order to try to compete for a playoff spot in 2013. Those changes include signing backup catcher David Ross, outfielders Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino, and agreeing to terms with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli—although that deal has yet to be finalized and announced.
Boston now has a core group of players who can help it on the field as well as in the clubhouse. There’s no reason to believe that the 2013 lineup can’t be one of the best in baseball.
Here are projections of what that lineup could look like, including a bold prediction for each player.