Baseball is finally here. Everyone is ready to dedicate themselves for the grind that is the baseball year. While Spring Training can hold people off, many are fiending for the season to start. We're right there with you. May we suggest some player previews to help you cope until then?
2010 Stats: 139 G, .255 BA, 22 HR, 68 RBI, .793 OPS, 69 R, 2.9 WARP
2011 PECOTA Projections: (via Baseball Prospectus): .256 BA, 20 HR, 65 RBI, 70R, .810 OPS, 2.2 WARP
2011 Ted's Army Projections: .265 BA, 24 HR, 62 RBI, 76 R, .840 OPS
J.D. Drew...The name that has made it into the Boston dictionary under "overpaid under-achiever". Look on the bright side, this is the final year of J.D. Drew in Boston. J.D. has played with thoughts of retirement after the season, probably because he has realized the chances of him cashing in next year are slim. If he doesn't decide on retirement, expect some big numbers from Drew.
Drew will be hitting behind all the power hitters, so expect low RBI totals and a majority of his homers to be solo shots. When he does get on base, he still gives the Red Sox the option of speed, leaving a great set up for the bottom of the order to produce runs.
J.D. Drew is actually a great hitter and can really be a threat at the plate, when he guesses right. Seems like he has lost the guessing game during his stay in Boston. He does have a sweet swing though.
Drew will be platooning with Mike Cameron, mainly when southpaws are on the opposition, or when his hammy acts up. Mike Cameron has some potential for a lot of playing time. I also hear AARP is going to sponsor the right field wall.
On defense, J.D. can still cover a good amount of ground. His outfield assists went from 5 in 2009, and down to 2 last season. He does have a decent arm, so he has the potential for the assists, but don't count on it. I have a little more confidence in Mike Cameron's arm (3 assists in 46 G), but don't lose too much confidence in Drew, he does know right field pretty well.
Game of the Year:
June 28, 2011: The Red Sox are in the class-less wasteland called Philly for their next-to-last interleague series. Since the plan is to throw batteries at J.D. Drew, J.D. one ups them. First pitch off of...lets say...Roy Halladay, J.D. takes one deep off the first pitch. J.D. doesn't drop the bat at the plate, instead, he takes the bat with him and reaches into his pocket and pulls out some batteries and starts hitting them into the stands before fans can throw them, with one catching Michael Vick (who is enjoying the lock-out while sitting on a pile of cash) in the head. Drew for obvious reasons gets tossed from the game and is never seen in Philly again.
There have been many questions circling Drew this offseason, but the biggest one is, will the hammy be an issue again? The answer is likely yes. This is the hamstring that lacks any healing capabilities and has been a problem for 4 years thus far. As long as Mike Cameron can stay healthy, most fans will be ok with Drew missing some games because of the hammy.