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MLB's Worst: Boston Red Sox Right Fielders

BOSTON, MA  - JUNE 19:  Darnell McDonald #54 and J.D. Drew #7 of the Boston Red Sox almost collide fielding a fly ball against the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park on June 19, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIDecember 28, 2016

I think it’s time to continue our Baseball’s Worst series.

We last covered which team had baseball’s worst center fielders, and that dubious distinction went to the Seattle Mariners. It’s now time to circle the outfield and look at which team has baseball’s worst right fielders.

Who would have thought that a team that had $21 million worth of right fielders would be baseball’s worst. But that Boston Red Sox have just that. The team with the No. 1 offense in baseball is doing so despite having right fielders who haven’t done diddly poo all season.

Go figure.

Let’s take a look at the Red Sox center field situation and if there is any hope for the future.

 

Right Fielders

J. D. Drew

Mike Cameron

Darnell McDonald

Josh Reddick

 

Major League Rankings

AVG: 30th (.196)

OBP: 30th (.282)

SLG: 30th (.297)

HRs: Tied for 26th (9)

ISO: 27th (.101)

wOBA: 30th (.257)

WAR: 30th (-0.8)

 

Analysis

The J.D. Drew era in Boston will be debated for quite some time. Those who are anti-Drew will argue that we was never the man in Boston, nor was he the superstar his agent Scott Boras claimed he was.

People will look at Drew’s raw stats and see a guy who never hit higher than .280 with the Red Sox and never have an OPS over 1.000. Drew never played in 150-plus games and is a frustrating player to watch.

Drew is a player that can frustrate fans quite easily.

He does things so effortlessly that it almost appears the guy doesn’t care. It’s “Kevin McReynolds Syndrome.” However, I will venture to say that Drew cares more than McReynolds did.

On the other hand, Drew was pretty solid from 2007-2010 in a Boston uniform. His .853 OPS was sixth amongst all right fielders in baseball during that time frame and he was worth about 14 wins to the Red Sox.

That’s not bad at all.

Drew also carried the Red Sox for almost a month and a half during the 2008 season and his grand slam against Fausto Carmona in Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS will go down as one of the biggest HRs in Boston history.

But whichever side of the Drew fence you sit on, one thing is pretty clear: He has had an awful start to the 2011 season.

He still has shown a great eye at the plate (his OBP is 100 points higher than his avgerage), but other than that, he hasn’t done much else. Drew only has four HRs and his .090 ISO is fifth-worst amongst all major league right fielders.

Drew also really struggled against left-handed pitching. With a .214/.298/.357 slash line against lefties, the Red Sox figured they could platoon Drew with Cameron in right. That never materialized either.

Cameron struggled in his platoon role and was traded just last week.

 

The Future

With Drew set to depart as a free agent after the 2011 season, it appears the 2012 right field job will be a competition between Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish. Both have had a cup o’ coffee at the major league level and Reddick is currently on the Red Sox roster and hit a HR last night against the Baltimore Orioles.

Not only Reddick on the Sox roster, but he has really impressed filling in for the injured Carl Crawford. Reddick is hitting .388/.439/.612 in 18 games in 2011.

Before the season started, I would have said Kalish was the favorite to be the Boston right fielder in 2012, but a shoulder injury has really hindered him this season. We will just have to wait and see how he recovers from this injury as the season progresses.

I could certainly see the Red Sox signing a fringe right fielder just to help Reddick or Kalish or take over if they don’t earn the job in spring training. Someone like Cody Ross or Austin Kearns come to mind.

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