Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Boston Red Sox

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Looking to clean the slate after their previous misadventures in free agency brought them to ruin, the Red Sox jettisoned much of their high-dollar superstar talent at the end of the 2012 season. They turned back to free agency to patch up the resulting holes prior to 2013, but this time, they focused on second-tier players willing to sign shorter, smaller deals. The result was 97 wins and a third World Series title in the last 10 years.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Though the overhaul helped get the Red Sox over the hump, with players like Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli reinstating themselves as legitimate assets, the holdovers had the greatest impact in Fantasy. Jacoby Ellsbury bounced back from an injury-plagued 2012 with an MLB-leading 52 steals. Jon Lester reunited with former pitching coach John Farrell, now his manager, to recapture top-of-the-rotation form. Koji Uehara got a chance to close full time (but only after Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey went down to season-ending injuries) and became a force of Craig Kimbrel-like proportions, his 0.57 WHIP rating the best ever for a qualifying reliever. Even John Lackey, a non-factor since signing prior to the 2010 season, returned from Tommy John surgery with the kind of numbers that put him in the Cy Young discussion during his time with the Angels.

And the best part is the team remains mostly intact. Ellsbury's move to the Yankees creates a void at the top of the lineup, and Stephen Drew provided no worse than adequate production at shortstop, but most of the players who have given Fantasy owners reason to wonder in the past have an opportunity to continue with the same environment that brought out their best last year. Of course, it won't stop the passage of time, which is particularly noteworthy with heart and soul David Ortiz having turned 38 this offseason. For most of last year's Red Sox, that's the biggest impediment to a repeat performance.

They aim to get younger, though, having ready-made replacements for Ellsbury and Drew in Jackie Bradley and Xander Bogaerts. Though Bradley's upside is in question after his lackluster showing at Triple-A last year, with estimates ranging anywhere from Jon Jay to Shin-Soo Choo, Bogaerts is a superstar waiting to happen, an eventual first-rounder in Fantasy who seemingly can't grow up fast enough at age 21. The Red Sox will also get younger in the starting rotation if they pull the plug on Ryan Dempster, their lone misfire in free agency last year. Either of Felix Doubront and Brandon Workman would be of greater interest to Fantasy owners, with Workman potentially having some mixed-league appeal thanks to his eligibility at relief pitcher.

Impact prospect ... Xander Bogaerts, third base

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Shane Victorino RF
2. Daniel Nava LF
3. Dustin Pedroia 2B
4. David Ortiz DH
5. Mike Napoli 1B
6. Xander Bogaerts SS
7. A.J. Pierzynski C
8. Will Middlebrooks 3B
9. Jackie Bradley CF
Bench Grady Sizemore OF
Bench Jonny Gomes OF
Proximity ensures Bogaerts will be one of the first rookies drafted in Fantasy. Unlike George Springer, Archie Bradley and so many of the other big-name prospects expected to contribute this year, his time has already come. But what really sets him apart is the position he plays ... or is going to play, rather. After taking the path of least resistance to the majors last year by spelling the perpetually underwhelming Will Middlebrooks at third base, Bogaerts is in line to become the Red Sox's everyday shortstop, a position where Fantasy owners have too often reduced themselves to Erick Aybar types. Granted, no one knows exactly how Bogaerts will perform at age 21, but if scouting reports count for anything, he profiles as a Troy Tulowitzki type. Of course, first round-type potential sometimes gets off to a Jurickson Profar-like start, but given the alternatives at shortstop at that stage of the draft, it's an appropriate gamble in the middle rounds. Just keep in mind you'll need a fill-in shortstop for that one week when Bogaerts is ineligible at the position.

Bust ... Jake Peavy, starting pitcher

At a time when starting pitching is back on the rise, you have to wonder if Peavy still even measures up. He certainly has the name value and showed as recently as 2012 that he's capable of being a Fantasy asset, but is the reward enough to justify the risk? That 2012 season was an outlier not only it terms of health -- it was his first with at least 180 innings, much less 200, since 2007 -- but also production. And it's not like it earned him a bunch of Cy Young votes. Even counting that season, the last time Peavy averaged a strikeout per inning was 2009. His 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings in four years since would have ranked 33rd among qualifying pitchers last year, and his 1.17 WHIP during that same stretch would have ranked 28th. So realistically, he has the upside of about a top-20 starting pitcher, but with less chance of reaching it than others you could draft in the same range, such as Kris Medlen, Zack Wheeler or even John Lackey.

Buyer beware ... A.J. Pierzynski, catcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Jon Lester LHP
2. John Lackey RHP
3. Clay Buchholz RHP
4. Jake Peavy RHP
5. Felix Doubront LHP
ALT Ryan Dempster RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Koji Uehara RHP
2. Edward Mujica RHP
3. Brandon Workman RHP
4. Junichi Tazawa RHP
5. Andrew Miller LHP
Fenway Park: It's a great place for home runs if you bat right-handed, but otherwise, not so much. In fact, the last time Pierzynski played his home games in a venue that didn't enhance his power, Alex Rodriguez had yet to suit up for the Yankees. So while his performance for the Giants in 2003, when he hit .272 with 11 homers and a .729 OPS, was respectable enough, keep in mind 37 is a long way from 27. It may not seem like it with Pierzynski coming off two of his better seasons, but U.S. Cellular Field, where he hit 18 of his 27 home runs in 2012, and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where he hit 10 of his 17 last year, have a way of masking wrinkles. Pierzynski is still capable of a respectable batting average and will have a strong supporting cast in Boston, so you shouldn't expect him to fall off a cliff. But losing a few home runs could make all the difference to his mixed-league value, which was only borderline to begin with.

Prospects Report

Even apart from Bogaerts, Bradley and Workman, who should all win roles with the big-league club this spring, the Red Sox have several prospects on the verge of making an impact in the majors. Garin Cecchini, an on-base machine with some yet-to-develop power potential, could step in at third base if Will Middlebrooks' inconsistencies continue. Blake Swihart gives the Red Sox a long-term option at catcher, though like Cecchini, his power is more theoretical than practical at this stage of his development. Second baseman Mookie Betts had a Jackie Bradley-like breakthrough in the lower levels of the minors, flashing power and speed to go along with a tremendous batting eye, but he won't crack the Red Sox lineup unless he finds a new position. Of the three, Cecchini is the only one with any real hope for 2014. As far as starting pitchers go, Allen Webster, Matt Barnes and Henry Owens could all step in this year if the Red Sox burn through the depth they already have in the majors. Owens is the most intriguing of the group, profiling as a future ace.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Aaron Hill back from two-game absence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:55 pm ET) Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill returned to the starting lineup Tuesday at Cincinnati after missing two straight starts due to a hand injury. Hill is batting .400 (16 for 40) with two home runs, five doubles and six RBI in his last 11 games.

Manny Parra dealing with back injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) Reds reliever Manny Parra is dealing with a back injury and might not be available to pitch Tuesday vs. Arizona, manager Bryan Price told reporters. Parra hasn't allowed a run in his last 18 appearances (8 2/3 innings) and has eight holds in that span.

Eric Hosmer hopes to pick up where he left off Tuesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) A hand injury that has prevented Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer from earning an at-bat for nearly a week will not keep him out of the batter's box Tuesday against Minnesota. He's back in the lineup.

Hosmer, who sustained the injury on a hit-by-pitch on July 20, was on a roll before going down. He owned a 16-game hitting streak with six doubles and two home runs.


Jayson Werth sits out Tuesday due to ankle injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:48 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Marlins due to an ankle injury suffered Monday. Werth had anticipated he would be in the lineup Tuesday.

Werth is batting .360 with a .478 on-base percentage, .747 slugging percentage and 1.225 OPS in 21 July games. He also has six home runs, 11 doubles, 17 runs, 23 RBI and 14 walks this month.


Struggling Chris Davis out of Tuesday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) A miserable slump has Orioles first baseman Chris Davis sitting Tuesday against the Angels. Steve Pearce is set to play first base.

Davis has just four hits in his last 28 at-bats and owns a .199/.309/.391 stat line on the season. He has just two multi-hit games since June 11 and 123 strikeouts in 317 at-bats this year.


Marlon Byrd held out of lineup for day off, not due to trade
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is being mentioned in trade rumors, received a scheduled day off Tuesday at N.Y. Mets. He was not held out of the lineup because of an impending trade, according to ESPN.

Byrd, who had four singles Monday, is batting .287 with three doubles, five home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs in 24 July games.


Lonnie Chisenhall back into lineup against Mariners
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:33 pm ET) Indians slumping third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has returned to the lineup for the Tuesday game against visiting Seattle. He had been out since Friday with an illness.

Chisenhall has struggled since his May and June tear. His average has fallen from .393 to a season-low .313 since June 14. He has three hits in his last 26 at-bats.


Report: Royals might go after Bartolo Colon or A.J. Burnett
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:27 pm ET) The Royals are considering making a run to acquire Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon or Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, major-league sources told the New York Daily News.

However, a major caveat is that the Roayls might not be able to add to the payroll to acquire either pitcher, but that will be determined in the coming days. The Royals' evaluators, however, are said to like both veteran pitchers.


Coco Crisp sidelined against Houston
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:27 pm ET) As expected, Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp remains out of the lineup for the game Tuesday in Houston with a neck injury.

Crisp, who could also miss the back end of the two-game series, has not played Saturday.


Report: Pirates a team emerging in trade talks for Jon Lester
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:22 pm ET) The Pirates are emerging as a dark-horse candidate to acquire Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, major-league sources told Yahoo! Sports. 

The Red Sox are targeting multiple high-end prospects in exchange for Lester. The Pirates have a deep farm system and outfield prospect Josh Bell is one name at the center of the trade talks.


 
 
 
Rankings