02 March 2011
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Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP John Lackey, SP Josh Beckett, SP
Clay Buchholz, SP Jon Lester, SP Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
David Ortiz, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
C.C. is one of two huge Free Agent signings for the Red Sox. He's been remarkably consistent during his first eight seasons in the bigs. He's almost a lock for a .300 average, an .800+ OPS, 10+ HRs, 40+ SBs and 90 runs.
As the major talent on the Rays for many years, Crawford struggled to cross the plate 100 times, despite being one of the fastest players in the game. But with an improved offense in 2010, C.C. broke the century mark for the first time since 2005 and managed to produce a career best 90 RBI to boot!
My point is: As the #3 man in this current Red Sox lineup, I see Crawford posting his first 100/100 season. Ya, that's right, I said it. 100 runs. 100 RBI... write it down.
He'll have Ellsbury and Pedroia in front on him and Gonzalez, Youk and Papi behind him. If he hits .300 and continues to get on base... he might end up being the most productive player in the lineup. He knows the AL East, so unlike Gonzalez, the adjustment is minor, and at 29, he's in his prime. Couple that with a .333 BA and a .816 OPS at Fenway over the past two seasons, and it's hard not to be excited about this new addition to the team.
I tried digging into his splits to see if there was anything interesting about Carl's recent stats, but to be honest, he's as consistent as they get. He did seem to be more aggressive in 2010, swinging at at pitches out side if the zone a bit more (35.6%), but his contact rate stayed the same (83%) and he held that .300 average, so the only concern would be a slight increase in his flyball rate (36%, up 7%).
Bottom Line: As a lefty, more fly balls at Fenway may result in more home runs for Carwford, but I still think the Sox would prefer to see him beating out grounders and driving the ball into the gaps.
Rob's Prediction: 610 AB, .298 BA, .820 OPS, 29 2B, 16 HR, 100 RBI, 102 R, 45 SB
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