Throughout Major League Baseball, teams are hitting home runs at a record pace, but the Boston Red Sox are not following this trend. While the team has scored the eighth most runs in baseball, the team ranks last in the American League in terms of home runs. This is a startling statistic not only for this season, but also for the future of the club.
Continuing with the signs for concern is the physical stature of the Red Sox young bats. Mookie Betts, the reigning runner-up for the AL MVP, is listed at 5’9 and 180 lbs; Andrew Benintendi is nearly the same size. Bogaerts is bigger than both but has yet to flash his power, especially in 2017. Now I’m not saying that a hitter has to be the size of Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge to be a legitimate power threat, but it is hard for someone smaller than the average American male to be a premier home run hitter. Some people may say, “well Betts hit 31 homers last year,” and that is true. However, Betts relies on lightning quick hands and bat speed to produce power when pulling the ball, so even when hitting 30 bombs, Mookie does not have power to all fields. Bogaerts hit 21 dingers last year, but that looks to be more like the exception than the rule. Furthermore, even if he becomes a consistent 20 homer guy, that figure has become so common that hitting .300 is much more valuable. Likewise, the same logic applies to Benintendi who will likely top the 20 home run mark this season. With other young stars like Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger, and Kris Bryant lighting up stadiums with towering moonshots, Red Sox Nation must remember that Boston's youngsters aren't built the same way, and it could hurt the team in October.
Organizationally, all the top talent is on the big club, and the farm system looks like a barren wasteland. Therefore, For at least the next few seasons, the current lineup looks to be the core of this team and the heart of the lineup, so fans should not anticipate to see a great number of home runs fly out of Fenway for the next season and a half. The Sox should still be able to manufacture runs and play an exciting brand of baseball. And hey, maybe in the vaunted 2018-19 offseason, John Henry can open up his purse and splurge on Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
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