Friday, July 18, 2014

Red Sox Power Rankings As Second Half Starts

'Power Rankings' are all the rage these days—although sometimes they can be a cheap gimmick used by certain websites that will remain nameless. We've decided to compile our own set of Red Sox Power Rankings as we approach the start of the second half. The rankings take into account recent production by five key position players and five key pitchers. Basically, these are the guys who offer The Carmine Hose the best chance of doing something positive from here to the end of September. OK, let's start the process with the top five position players:

1. Brock Holt, IF, OF. What can we say about 'The Babe'? This guy has stepped up and solved (at least temporarily) the lead-off problem. Recently, he's hitting .368 with a .944 OPS. In July alone, he's got 21 hits. PROGNOSIS: Continue to play him as much as possible, wherever that is.

2. Christian Vazquez, C.  The kid has been hot since his call-up from AAA—hitting .455 (albeit in limited starts). He's also shown off his defensive skills behind the plate—although he will have to learn how to call a game on the fly. PROGNOSIS: Have him catch as much as possible the rest of the year.

3. David Ortiz, DH. While some of Papi's numbers are down, he is still producing like a middle-of-the-order guy should. Over his last 11 games, he's hitting .293 with a .948 OPS. He has 12 RBIs already in July. PROGNOSIS: Let him rip.

4. Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF. Opening up his stance seems to have given him a new offensive lease on life. In his last nine games, he's hitting .375 with seven runs scored.  Plus, he's consistently been a defensive whiz in center with a canon for an arm. PROGNOSIS: Stick him in CF and leave him alone.

5. Daniel Nava, OF, 1B. His early-season offensive woes (and subsequent demotion to AAA) are far behind him. While he's not the force he was last year, he's hitting .370 over his last nine games—knocking in five runs.  PROGNOSIS: Give him the everyday LF job and see what he does.

Our next Power Ranking will cover the top five Red Sox pitchers for the second half.