Boston Red Sox Player Grades: Better Than Expected
The Boston Red Sox roster has been a mixed bag so far this season with certain players grossly underperforming. This post is the first one in a monthly series where I grade the Red Sox active roster up until that point in the season.
Grades will be in A-F letter formats and the explanation for the grades will be underneath each player.
The roster of players is right from the MLB 25-man active roster at the time of writing. So that means any player on the DL will not be graded.
Chris Sale: A-
15 GS, 9-3, 2.85 ERA, 107.1 IP, 146 SO, .90 WHIP
Sale has been everything Boston has asked for and more this season. When the Red Sox acquired the left-handed ace from Chicago the understanding was he was going to be their No.1, and he has done just that.
Sale gets an A- instead of an A because he showed some inconsistency with a 4.24 ERA in May, but with a 3.07 ERA in June he can certainly have his grade bumped up next time around.
Rick Porcello: D-
16 GS, 4-9, 5.00 ERA, 99 IP, 93 SO, 1.53 WHIP
The reigning CY Young winner has been anything but that this season for the Red Sox. His sinker ball hasn’t been working for him causing the groundball pitcher to throw his fastball more trying to get strikeouts.
In his last start on June 23rd against the Angels the right handed pitcher showed some promise that he can turn his season around soon.
David Price: IC
5 GS, 2-1, 5.14 ERA, 28 IP, 24 SO, 1.39 WHIP
Price only has 5 games started this season for Boston with the 31-year-old recovering from an elbow injury. In theory his starts place him right around May 1st if this was a normal season for him.
So with that being said, Price’s season is to incomplete enough to grade at this point. A sample size of 10 starts is what it will take for me to grade him.
Drew Pomeranz: C+
14 GS, 6-4, 4.07 ERA< 73 IP, 82 SO, 1.37 WHIP
Pomeranz has been a find piece for the Boston Red Sox this season helping sure up the back end of their starting rotation. He had a brutal stretch of starts between May 09 and May 20th where he failed to pitched past the 4th inning.
After the start in Oakland where he blew up on John Farrell he has settled down and his ERA in June is 3.68. If he continues this up he will be a crucial part of the rotation going forward.
Hector Velazquez: IC
3 GS, 1-1, 5.27 ERA, 13.2 IP, 9 SO, 1.32 WHIP
Velazquez has started 2 games for Boston this season and had one appearance out of the bullpen after Brian Johnson suffered an injury.
The 28-year-old’s sample size is too small for a grade.
Matt Barnes: C-
33 G, 5-2, 3.98 ERA, 31.2 IP, 39 SO, 1.33 WHIP
The Danbury, CT native has been primarily used in the 8th inning by Farrell but his struggles on the road have pushed him into the 7th inning role as of late.
Barnes started the season with a 3.27 ERA in April, but since then he posted a 4.26 ERA in May and a 4.50 ERA in June.
Fernando Abad: B+
23 G, 2-0, 2.57 ERA, 21 IP, 13 SO, 1.24 WHIP
The 31-year-old veteran reliever has somehow appeared in 23 games for Boston despite very few of them being note worthy.
Abad has been sparingly used but has actually been very effective for Boston. His era in April was a 5.06, but since then he posted a 2.16 ERA in May and a 1.23 ERA in June. It looks to be time for Abad to get more opportunities for Boston.
Blaine Boyer: C+
11 G, 0-1, 3.29 ERA, 13.2 IP, 10 SO, 1.54 WHIP
Boyer is 35-years-old and has been a journeyman in MLB. He has only been pitching in Boston since May 28th, but in June he has posted a 3.18 ERA.
Boyer has been suitable as a non-pressure situation for Boston, but the feeling is he isn’t built for any late inning work.
Heath Hembree: C-
33 G, 0-2, 3.74 ERA, 33.2 IP, 34 SO, 1.46 WHIP
Hembree is one of the most used relievers in the Red Sox bullpen. He started off the year with a 1.42 ERA in April. But in May he had a 5.93 ERA. In June he has seemed to settle down a bit with a 3.68 ERA, but his inconsistency is not something Boston needs in their bullpen.
Hembree is a specialist pitcher by nature and should be used as such. His ERA against left-handed batters is 2.84.
30 G, 0-1, 2.60 ERA, 17.1 IP, 14 SO, 1.04 WHIP
Scott had a good start to the season with a 1.93 ERA in April and a 1.23 ERA in May, but in June he has posted a 5.06 ERA.
Scott is meant to face right handed pitchers and has a 2.45 ERA against them this season. If Scott keeps up his June performances you could see Farrell move away from him quickly.
Joe Kelly: A+
30 G, 3-0, 1.14 ERA, 31.2 IP, 24 SO, 1.14 WHIP
The starter turned reliever has been electric out of Boston’s bullpen. Farrell used Kelly in the 6th and 7th inning primarily but he is now going to be shifted in the 8th inning role.
Kelly had a 2.70 ERA in April, which is good, but since then he has been untouchable. In May, 0.00, in June, 0.00. Those numbers are filthy. Kelly has the opportunity to be a big part of the Red Sox bullpen down the stretch.
Craig Kimbrel: A+
30 G, 2-0, 0.85 ERA, 31.2 IP, 59 SO, .44 WHIP
The Boston Red Sox closer has been stellar this season for Farrell racking up 20 saves. In May Kimbrel did not give up a run with a 0.00 ERA. In June he has a 1.17 ERA in only 7.2 IP with Farrell seemingly declining to use his closer in key situations as of late.
Sandy Leon: C+
137 AB, .248 AVG, 5 HR, 22 RBIs, .706 OPS
Leon has been very capable for the Red Sox after a slow April and has batted .306 in June. If he continues to stay hot and drive his numbers up his grade will continue to go up.
Christian Vasquez: B-
126 AB, .294 AVG, 13 RBIs, .712 OPS
Vasquez started the season off with a solid April and May, but in June the catcher is batting .184 in 38 plate appearances. His recent offensive woes is a big reason that Farrell has opted for Leon as of late.
His hot start to the year still warrants him a higher grade than Leon.
274 AB, .325 AVG, 5 HR, 34 RBIs, 8 SB, .856 OPS
Bogaerts has been very effective for the Red Sox this season and his average is the highest on the team. He has been very consistent this year for Boston despite his numbers in June dipping to .299 for the month.
It will be interesting to see if Xander’s power numbers tick up as the season goes on.
91 AB, .165, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, .514 OPS
Marrero is not an offensive minded player, instead he is Boston’s best defensive third basemen in the entire organization.
His AVG in June is .120 though and has caused the Red Sox to try and find another option at third base with Pablo Sandoval‘s season also in disarray.
But the defense of Marrero has helped bring stability to the position and for that he gets a C.
240 AB, .267 AVG, 9 HR, 37 RBIs, .815 OPS
Moreland has been a key player in the Red Sox offense but his AVG in June is a .242 causing Farrell to spell in Sam Travis.
That being said Moreland has overachieved his contract already and is an important member of this years Red Sox team.
Dustin Pedroia: B+
216 AB, .292 AVG, 2 HR, 25 RBIs, .736 OPS
Pedroia has dealt with a number of nagging injuries but has been the second basemen that Red Sox fans have come to know and love. Despite being 33-years-old, Pedroia has been very effective for Boston.
107 AB, .224 AVG, 9 RBIs, .558 OPS
Rutledge is only batting .184 AVG in the month of June. But his role has been expanded with all the issues at third base and the injury to Pedroia.
It is important not to be too hard on Rutledge given the circumstances.
Sam Travis: IC
22 AB, .409 AVG, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1.004 OPS
Travis simply does not have enough playing time to make a call on his grade. He has shown some promise, and has a chance to make the list with a grade next time if he gets some more playing time.
256 AB, .273 AVG, 10 HR, 40 RBIs, 8 SB, .777 OPS
Benintiendi is a rookie, so his play and problems are something that can be too scrutinized at this time.
After a rough May where he posted a .204 AVG, Benny Baseball has bounced back and is hitting .294 with 5 home runs in June. He has shown some issues in the field as of late but that comes with being a young player.
Benintendi is one player that is a must watch for Boston as the 22-year-old still has a lot more to show fans.
Mookie Betts: B+
285 AB, .270 AVG, 12 HR, 40 RBIs, 12 SB, .830 OPS
Betts is an MVP type player, makes all the plays and helps his team win baseball games. His AVG leaves a lot to desire with a .256 AVG in May and .267 in June.
He has struggled as of late with his average almost falling every game at this point. With Mookie though you get the feeling he will have a month batting over .400.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: B
195 AB, .272 AVG, 9 HR, 31 RBIs, .844 OPS
Bradley’s career average is .242, so batting 30 points higher than that is great for the Red Sox centerfield. Interestingly enough he is normally known for his elite fielding, but the 27-year-old has shown some bad judgement out in the field.
But he is batting .360 in June and his fielding is still at an elite level overall.
Chris Young: C+
131 AB, .267 AVG, 3 HR, 14 RBIs, 2 SB, .737 OPS
Young is a utility type outfielder who plays in certain situations and gives the Three B’s a day off. But he is a key member of the Red Sox bench and has been very consistent as a hitter since April when he hit .241.
Young’s power numbers do need to be higher though with that being a big part of his game. But overall you cannot be mad with what he has done so far this season.
217 AB, .240 AVG, 10 HR, 28 RBIs, .746 OPS
Ramirez is batting .200 in June and has yet to be a key part of the Red Sox offense. He has been a big disappointment for the Boston Red Sox this season.
Surprisingly enough his power numbers are up this season. This time last year he only recorded 9 home runs compared to the 10 he has now.
Ramirez has been dealing with a lingering shoulder injury but he still has time to put together a fine season as Boston’s DH. But it will take him to start getting base hits instead of the occasional home run.
Next Boston Red Sox Grades Will Come Out In Mid To Late July
Give me your grades in the comment section below!