How Good Is the Boston Red Sox Offense Right Now?

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, right, celebrates as he arrives at home plate after hitting a home run as Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes, left, looks on in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Pretty darn good.

The Red Sox have scored 256 runs this season. That puts them on a pace to score around 943 runs on the season. The last team to score more than 900 runs in a season was the 2009 New York Yankees. Those Yankees scored 915 runs, won the American League East, and then went on to win the World Series.

The 2007 Yankees scored 968 runs. That team finished second in the AL East, and then lost to the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.

The last time the Red Sox scored more than 900 runs in a season was 2005. That team lost in the ALDS to the Chicago White Sox.

The 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox scored 949 runs.

The 2003 “Cowboy-Up!” Red Sox scored 961 runs, the second highest total in franchise history behind the 1950 squad. That team was led by fearsome foursome of Walt Dropo (.322/34hr/144rbi) Bobby Doerr (.294/27hr/120rbi) Vern Stephens (.295/30hr/144rbi) and Ted Williams (.317/28hr/97rbi.) The 1950 Red Sox scored 1,027 runs, went 94-60 and missed the postseason.

The 2016 Red Sox probably won’t continue their torrid pace. Then again, perhaps they will? It isn’t completely out of the question.

Xander Bogaerts wasn’t a top ranked prospect just for fun. Scouts did see him as an elite hitter who could consistently hit at or above .300 for his career.

Bogaerts is slashing .346/.397/.495 , he’s hit in 16 consecutive games, and he leads the AL in batting average.

He’s not going to maintain his May 2016 pace all season, but he doesn’t have to do that to have an amazing season. Bogaerts is hitting .404 this month, so while it might be a bit much to expect him to transform himself into Ted Williams circa 1941, it isn’t out-of-the-question that he ends up hitting well above .300 when the season is completed.

Jackie Bradley Jr is another guy who is having himself a month. We all know about the 27-game hitting streak. It goes beyond that though.

Bradley is slashing .342/.413/.618. The average is second in the AL behind Bogaerts, the ops (1.031) is second in the league behind another teammate, David Ortiz. Bradley is yet another member of the Red Sox who need not keep up his current May pace to finish the season with fantastic overall numbers.

Bradley is also in the midst of an absurd May. He’s slashing .423/.506/.775 with 7 home runs and 20 rbi’s. That puts him in a tie for second most long balls and places him atop the league in rbi’s.

David Ortiz.

The man who claims to be retiring, is playing as if he’s got something to prove. Ortiz has basically been on fire all season long and the numbers show it.

He’s slashing .329/.408/.684. The average is third-best in the league, the ops leads the league. His 11 home runs are just two back from the 13 that co-league-leaders Mark Trumbo and Todd Frazier have hit. His 37 runs batted in are two less than league-leader Robinson Cano has, and his 104 total bases are just one behind league leader Manny Machado and his 105.

Sunday he faced the Cleveland Indians and his former manager Terry Francona. Ortiz was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a solo home run, a single and one intentional walk.

When Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com asked Francona what he thought of Ortiz, his former skipper was not shy about handing out compliments.

“I wish he would have retired last year,” said Francona. “He’s kind of on a different level right now. He looks like he’s playing softball.”

As over-the-top as that praise might sound, the statement rings true. Ortiz really is on a different level right now. There’s no telling exactly when or how he will be jarred from this hot streak, a hot streak which really isn’t a streak at all.

Unlike so many of his teammates who have seen their bats catch fire this month, Ortiz’s bat has been on fire since the season started. He’s having himself an exceptional month of May, but his April was also outstanding.

It doesn’t end with Bogaerts, Bradley and Big Papi.

Mookie Betts did have a subpar April, but May has been quite kind.

He’s slashing .295/.354/.557 while mashing five home runs and driving home 16.

It is hard to believe that Travis Shaw started the season as the guy who had somehow rested the starting third base job away from Pablo Sandoval. With Memorial Day on the horizon Shaw is slashing .305/.374/.530 with six home runs and 29 runs batted in.

Prior to opening day you could barely mention Pablo Sandoval without also mentioning the other major Red Sox free-agent disappointment of 2015, Hanley Ramirez.

Seven weeks later they’re on different planets.

Sandoval in on planet disabled list, out-for-the-season. Ramirez is a guy who has made an impressive transition to first base while also finding his stroke at the plate.

Ramirez is slashing .315/.365/.455 with four home runs and 26 runs batted in. Dustin Pedroia is another Red Sox starter who has produced, but has also been overshadowed by his league-leading teammates.

Pedroia is slashing .293/.353/.460, he has hit six home runs and driven in 20.

The Red Sox have homered in 22 consecutive games, they’re the best offensive team in all of baseball and they’ve got the type of depth that suggests that even when the hottest players cool off, the run production won’t fall off a cliff.

The team gets Monday off before the 21-21 Colorado Rockies come to town for a three-game set. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10pm ET Tuesday night. David Price (6-1, 5.53) gets the start for the Red Sox. Lefty Chris Rusin (1-2, 4.50) is on the hill for the Rockies.

About the Author

Ben Shapiro

Red Sox columnist for ESPN New Hampshire. Originally from Western Massachusetts, I currently live in New York City with my wife and dog.

I’ve previously written for Huffington Post, Bleacher Report and MassLive.com

Be the first to comment on "How Good Is the Boston Red Sox Offense Right Now?"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*