2007 Red Sox Mid-Season Grades

With the first half of the year complete, it is time to grade the Sox players and evaluate them based on expectations. Each player gets two grades, one grade for how they did compared to expectations and another for how they did compared to other players.

C Jason Varitek – After a disappointing season last year, Varitek has bounced back to hit 8 home runs, drive in 36 runs, and hit a steady .279. He has not thrown out many runners, but he has called great games behind the plate and is partially the reason why the Sox have had such great pitching. Versus Expectations: A-, Versus Players: B

1B Kevin Youkilis – A good season last year has lead to a fantastic season this year. His .328 average leads the Red Sox and his 9 home runs and 44 RBI made him an all star candidate. Though he was left off the team, there is not much that Youkilis hasn’t done for the Sox this year. Versus Expectations: B+, Versus Players: B+

2B Dustin Pedroia – After struggling mightily at the plate early in the season, Pedroia has been scorching the ball for the rest of it. He has raised his average more than a hundred points to get to .318, second on the Sox. His defense has been consistently good and he has been the perfect “on base hitter”. Versus Expectations: A-. Versus Players: B+

SS Julio Lugo – Ugh. Lugo has had one of the worst first half of the seasons in the league. He has struggled from the start and it has only gotten worse. His June average of .089 (7-79) was the worse in Major League Baseball for a starting player in over 10 years. His defense has been bad and the only thing that has gone right for Lugo is stolen bases. Versus Expectations: F, Versus Players: F

3B Mike Lowell – After a good year, Lowell has had an awesome year this year and made his 4th All Star. He is tied for the lead on the Sox with 14 home runs, leads them with 63 RBIs, and supports a nice .301 batting average. He has struggled defensively, something unusual for Lowell, but he has made up with it and more with the bat. Versus Expectations: A, Versus Players: A-

LF Manny Ramirez – Manny started the year and ended the first half pretty badly. Somehow Manny was selected by Tigers manager Jim Leyland for the All Star Game even though his stats don’t justify it. His 11 home runs, 45 RBI, and .284 batting average are extremely low for the normally consistent Ramirez. In every big situation so far, Ramirez seems to fall flat on his face, sometimes looking like an overpowered rookie. Versus Expectations: D, Versus Players: B-

CF Coco Crisp – Crisp struggled at the plate for most of the first part of the season, but has caught fire the last month to end with a .265 batting average. He has 5 home runs, 28 RBI, and more impressively, 16 stolen bases. He has played stellar defense the entire year, making no errors and getting balls that no one thought he could get to. Versus Expectations: B, Versus Players: B

RF J.D. Drew – Drew also struggled for most of the season, but like Coco, he has turned it around lately. Drew’s .258 batting average is bad, but is .368 on base percentage is excellent compared to the batting average. Unfortunately, his 6 home runs and 33 RBI are bad, especially for the number 5 hitter who has the opportunity to drive in a lot of runs. Versus Expectations: C. Versus Players: C+

DH David Ortiz – Papi has had a poor first half this year, and his stats reflect it. With only 14 home runs and 52 RBI, Ortiz is on pace for less than 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Those are not the stats Sox fans expect from one of the best hitters in baseball. Instead of being excited when he comes up in a clutch situation, Red Sox fans are nervous, because he has struggled in such situations this year. Versus Expectations: C-, Versus Players: B

SP Josh Beckett – Beckett has been dominate this year in nearly every outing. He is one of the top Cy Young candidates, and is coming off two scoreless innings in the All Star game. He has been the ace the Sox thought he was when they traded for him. After a disappointing year last year, Beckett has done everything right in the first half of 2007. Versus Expectations: A+, Versus Players: A+

SP Daisuke Matsuzaka – With the amount of money the Sox paid to get Dice K, big things were expected from him. He had control problems at the beginning of the year, but has gotten used to the major leagues in the last two months, lowering his ERA to 3.58. His high strikeout total and great defense are also valuable. Versus Expectations: B-, Versus Players: A-

SP Curt Schilling – Though injured for the last month, Schilling has had an up and down season. He has said that he has never felt right all season and his stats show it. With a 4.20 ERA, Schilling has not been the ace that he has been for the Sox. Injury or not. Schilling has pitched some very poor games this year. Versus Expectations: C-, Versus Players: C+

SP Tim Wakefield – Wakefield started out the season on fire, but has resorted back to form recently. His 4.38 is not very good, but as a number 4 starter in the American League, it is not that bad. He has kept the Sox in most of his games, and has been a good “inning eater”. Versus Expectations: B, Versus Players: B

SP Julian Tavarez – Tavarez has pitched very well for a number five guy. Even though his ERA is nearly five (4.97), he has pitched better than that. The last month he has pitched on the same day as Roger Clemens and has out pitched Rocket in nearly every start. The quirky attitude of Tavarez always provides a humorous moment during games as well. Versus Expectations: B+, Versus Players: B

RP Hideki Okajima – Okajima has been phenomenal this season. No one knew his name going into the season, but his All Star season has made him a household name across the country now. His tiny 0.83 ERA has provided a perfect setup man for Papelbon. Versus Expectations: A+, Versus Players: A+

CL Jonathan Papelbon – Papelebon has been dominant again this season, though his stats are a bit worse. He has an excellent 1.93 ERA and 20 saves to go along with it. Like always, Papelbon has been one of the best closers in the league and extremely deserving of his All Star selection. Versus Expectations: B+, Versus Players: A


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