Can Boston make up for the selections made last winter? Duval’s role is important.
Local media outlets such as MLB.com reported on January 20 (Korean time) that the Boston Red Sox had agreed to a contract with outfielder Adam Duvall. A one-year, $7 million guaranteed contract. Including performance-based incentives of $3 million, the scale can rise to a maximum of $10 million.
This offseason, Boston let go of franchise star and starting shortstop Zander Bogarts, who has held the infield for the past 10 years. Bogatz, who declared an opt-out and became a free agent, signed a large 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres. With Bogarts’ departure, Boston is in need of a shortstop.
It wasn’t that there wasn’t a shortstop to replace Bogaerts. There was Trevor Story, who was signed last winter with a six-year, $140 million free agent contract. Story was a player who played second base last season because of Bogarts’ presence, but played as a ‘special shortstop’ for six years with the Colorado Rockies. However, with Story undergoing elbow surgery, things took a turn for the worse in Boston.
Boston was troubled when two central infielders disappeared at once. He repeatedly struggled with whether to recruit veteran shortstops remaining in the free agency market as short-term resources, or whether to return Kike Hernandez, who was active in the outfield, to the infield and recruit an outfielder. And he took a strand to recruit outfielder Duval. With Duval joining, Hernandez will return to the infield. Duvall, a right-handed hitter who can play all outfield positions, will keep the outfield alongside Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida, and Jaren Duran.
Duval, who debuted with the San Francisco Giants in 2014 and went through the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, and Miami Marlins, is a hitter who has shot 163 home runs in nine years in the big leagues. Duval, who recorded .230/.289/.465, 163 homers, 478 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 830 games, lacks sophistication and initiative, but his strong point is his long hitting power, which resulted in three 30-homer seasons in his career. He was selected as an All-Star in 2016 and even won the National League Gold Glove as a right fielder in the 2021 season.
Born in 1988, the age of 34 is already burdensome, but it is not a big concern as it is a one-year contract. Although he was sluggish last year in Atlanta with .213/.276/.401 and 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 86 games, there is a good chance he will record around 25 homers and an OPS of 0.750 or higher again this season, considering that he suffered from a wrist injury.
However, there is a player who is regretful when looking at Duval, who was recruited after urgent consideration. It is Hunter Renfro, who left the team due to a trade last winter.
Renfro, who was released as a non-tender by the Tampa Bay Rays after the end of the shortened season, joined Boston ahead of the 2021 season. And in the 2021 season, he took on the role of right fielder and played in 144 games, hitting .259/.315/.501 with 31 homers and 96 RBIs. Although he was lacking on the defensive side, he played a solid role on the offensive side with 30 homers and an OPS of over .800.
However, Boston gave up Renfro after the season. Trade can take place at any time. The problem was that he gave up Renfro without getting a great price. Boston traded Renfro to the Milwaukee Brewers for three fielders last offseason: Jackie Bradley Jr., David Hamilton and Alex Vineras.
Bradley, the ‘main piece’ sent by Milwaukee, is a star from Boston, but his skills have already declined. Bradley, who only hit .163/.236/.261 with 6 homers and 29 RBIs in 134 games in Milwaukee in the 2021 season, was also sluggish when he returned to Boston. After hitting .210/.257/.321 with 3 home runs and 29 RBIs in 91 games for Boston last year, Bradley was released in August and finished the season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The prospects Vineras and Hamilton, who came with Bradley, have not yet reached the major leagues. Vineras only recorded an OPS of 0.633 on the first double-A stage last year. The only consolation was that Hamilton, an extremely quick-footed center infielder, recorded 70 stolen bases (.251/.338/.402, 12 HR, 42 RBI) in Double-A last year. Neither player has yet reached the Triple A stage.
On the other hand, Renfro, who was sent to Milwaukee, continued to perform well last season. He appeared in 125 games and he showed sufficient productivity, hitting .255/.315/.492 with 29 home runs and 72 RBIs. And he moved to the Los Angeles Angels in a trade this winter.
Although he is not a very good defensive player, Renfro, who can play every position in the outfield and has power to hit, has exactly the same role as Duval. And he’s a soon-to-be 31-year-old, three years younger than Duval. In defense, Gold Glove winner Duval is better, but in terms of offense, he is a ‘upper compatible’ hitter.토토사이트
There is a saying ‘there is no if in baseball’ and no one can predict the future accurately, but Boston, which sold Renfro at a bargain price last offseason because ‘there are enough right-handed hitters’, faced a situation where right-handed hitters were ‘hurriedly’ again after a year. . And he had Duval, who plays the same role as Renfro, but has less skills than him. If he hadn’t traded Renfro, he wouldn’t have had to face this situation. Last year in Boston, only two hitters outperformed Renfro: Rafael Devers and Bogaerts.
Of course, the two prospects who are still minor leaguers may debut in the big leagues and grow into special stars that will change the future of Boston, but this is not a high possibility at the moment. At this point, Boston’s selection last winter was a complete failure. Last year, Boston ranked last in the American League East after ranking 20th overall in outfield OPS.
Boston, which has been ranked last in the district twice in the past three years, is having a difficult time in many ways, breaking up with franchise stars such as Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Bogarts. All pitchers need a rebound, and the batting line that has lost its center is in a more confused situation.
If Duval rebounds with a record that makes Renfro forget, Boston’s goal could be closer. Will Duval be able to live up to Boston’s expectations?