An Early Look In Boston Red Sox's OBS Statistics

Evan Brunell@evanbrunellFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 15:  Jason Bay #44 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on April 15, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

I may have trust issues, so excuse my hesitance to put any real meaning into early individual numbers.

But they are all we have up to this point...

The team, and by team I mean the Boston Red Sox, is 7-6. 

Not great, not bad, slightly better than mediocre, etc.

Some have struggled, some have been great, and some have been okay. 

Let us dive into a quick take on each hitter in the everyday lineup...

Jacoby Ellsbury:  OPS+ 55

Ellsbury really struggled early, but picked it up against the sub-par Baltimore pitching.  And the last two games, Ellsbury actually flashed a little power, with his first two extra base hits of the season. 

The defense will be there, he just has to learn how to hit decent at this level.  Something that is hopefully becoming a reality after a few solid games.

Dustin Pedroia:  OPS+ 86: 

Speaking of picking it up...I guess that is what the Orioles pitching staff allows a hitter to do.  Although, I do not want to dismiss the offensive explosion of the last few days completely. 

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After all, they did "rock" Orioles "Ace" Jeremy Guthrie, and last time I checked, he is a pretty good pitcher. But anyway, Pedroia has reached base 10 times in the past four games. His OBP is now roughly league-average, and his slugging has broken the .400 mark. And both of those categories should only improve from here on out.

David Ortiz:  OPS+ terrible (42 to be exact)

Ortiz will swing the bat better than he has.  But that isn't praise by any means.  Big Papi just seems reluctant to swing. And I love OBP, there probably isn't a more important offensive number in baseball. 

But if the reason Ortiz was being overly patient/passive was simply to reach base as much as possible, then it would be ok. But he seems to be avoiding wanting to swing, as he just isn't seeing the ball well and/or isn't swinging the bat well. 

The numbers will come, but the cumulation is the question. 

Kevin Youkilis:  OPS+ 232 

While everyone seems to be adjusting to the season, Youk is taking advantage.  He is showing us all that the MVP caliber Kevin Youkilis is here to stay.  But it's really, really early.  Naturally, the OPS will come down, but will it be 140 or 120 by seasons end?

JD Drew:  OPS+ 139

Low average, high OBP, really high Slugging %.  The Red Sox are being careful with Drew, allowing him to play only 10 of the 13 games thus far.  Very smart on their part.  They know his history, so why not try and keep him fresh by giving him days off? 

Jason Bay:  OPS+ 176

Bay has 15 walks through 13 games.  Meaning he will walk well over 162 times if this pace continues.  It will not, obviously.  Bay is a good, possibly even a great player.  But his OBP will probably be sub-.400 and his Slugging will be sub-.600.  However, he, like I said, is a good player.  The stellar play should continue.

Mike Lowell:  OPS+ 102 

Lowell has been okay, and that is a good sign.  Knowing that he should be able to stay on the field and perform while residing there, is a positive sign.  Not many should expect 2007 all over again out of this guy, but an above-average all around 3B is very possible. 

Jason Varitek:  OPS+ 127 

Fluke.  Varitek may be a little better than expected, but that .583 Slugging is ridiculous, and will not continue.  I will be happy if he can slug over .400 to be honest.  But he has definitely been hitting well so far.  Hopefully he and Kottaras can combine to make up one decent catcher this season. 

SS:  OPS+ Not good

The SS position, a combination of Jed Lowrie and Nick Green, has been atrocious at the plate. Lowrie was downright pitiful (and injured as we found out), and Green hasn't been much either. 

But Green did have a big hit against the O's, where he drilled the fourth consecutive slider to straight away center over the head of the CF (who was playing him shallow to begin with). 

I actually can't wait for Lugo's return, at least then they can mix and match the two SS's whichever way they want.

Team OPS+ 101 

Basically, the offense has been average.  It should get better, as many are playing below their talents.  But the run prevention is really where it is at this season.  But we knew that going in, didn't we?

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