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
Yasiel Puig remains on roll in defeat of Braves
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig fell a home run short of a cycle Tuesday night in leading a 15-hit attack that overwhelmed Atlanta.

Puig tripled, doubled, singled twice and scored twice in the win. His four-hit performance was his second in the last four games. His .317 batting average and .544 slugging percentage are at their highest points in about six weeks.


Adam Dunn homers, strikes out twice in win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn had another all-or-nothing game Tuesday, in an 11-4 win over the Tigers.

Dunn had just one hit as he went 1 for 4 in the win, but he made it count. Dunn slugged a solo home run in the seventh inning, and added one walk while striking out twice.

Dunn now has 16 home runs and 43 RBI, while also ranking third in the American League in walks with 61. He is hitting .230/.364/.443 in 206 at-bats overall. 


No slowing down for Jose Abreu as July nears end
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:46 am ET) White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu continued his hot hitting Tuesday, in an 11-4 win over the Tigers.

Abreu drove in four runs in the massive performance, as he strung together his third multi-hit effort in the last four games. He went 3 for 4 with a two-run home run, and then followed that up with a two-run double in the eighth inning. He also scored twice in the blowout win.

Abreu has been red-hot for the last two months, and has taken his game to another level. He is hitting .359/.412/.652 in the month of July, raising his season batter average to .299. 


Taijuan Walker taken deep three times in Tuesday loss
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:40 am ET) Mariners premier pitching prospect Taijuan Walker continued to struggle at the Triple-A level Tuesday night by yielding three home runs. Included were two by Tommy Field, who entered with just four in 276 at-bats.

Walker did recover after the second Field blast to strike out five of the next six batters and fire fastballs that peaked at 98 miles an hour.

"He dialed it up a little more," Tacoma manager Roy Howell told the Salt Lake City News Tribune. "That's why he's still learning to pitch. Hopefully he'll take that lesson and understand it."

Walker is 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA this season with the Rainiers.


Xander Bogaerts goes deep, can't spark rally
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:29 am ET) Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts got his bat going late Tuesday against the Blue Jays, but it was not enough in a 4-2 loss.

Bogaerts went 2 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts, and also scored once and drove in one run with his ninth inning solo home run. He has been unable to snap out of his long slump as Bogaerts is hitting just .213/.241/.307 in 75 at-bats during the month of July.  

Bogaerts has failed to live up to expectations as a rookie, with a batting line of just .241/.311/.362 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 98 games. 


Colby Rasmus homers, scores twice
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus was a main contributor to Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Red Sox, as he scored twice in the twin.

Rasmus  went 2 for 4 in the game, with a single and a solo home run in the second inning to start off the scoring. He later came around to score again in the fourth inning, the second game in a row he has crossed the plate twice. 

Rasmus has three home runs in the month of July and 14 overall, while hitting .223/.285/.459 in 242 at-bats. 


Coco Crisp a no-go again against Astros
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:23 am ET) Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp is again absent from the lineup Wednesday in Houston with a neck issue. He has not played since Saturday.

Crisp is not at this time destined for the disabled list, but an MRI has revealed a degenerative condition in his neck.


Hamstring problem keeps Marwin Gonzalez out Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) A tight hamstring has prevented Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez from taking his place in the lineup for a day game Wednesday after a night game. He is sidelined against Oakland.

Gonzalez homered in the Tuesday loss.


Ben Zobrist homers, doubles in two runs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:14 am ET) Rays infielder Ben Zobrist played a big part in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the Brewers.

Zobrist went 2 for 4 in the win, and drove in the first two runs for the Rays in the win. He brought the first around on a sixth-inning solo home run, and then drove in another with a double in the eighth.

Zobrist is hitting .271/.361/.421 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 93 at-bats. 


Ned Yost: Billy Butler is our DH if he continues to hit
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:13 am ET) Royals designated hitter Billy Butler is still under the miscroscope despite his recent surge. He must keep hitting to remain a starter.

"If Billy keeps hitting, Billy's going to DH," Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star.

Butler played the role of hero in the weekend series against Cleveland with six hits, including two home runs, and five RBI to help his team win three of four. But he took the collar Tuesday night.


 
 
 
Rankings