Spring Training is in full swing. This is not only a time for the coaches to observe and grade players for the upcoming year, but fantasy owners are doing the same thing. The Boston Red Sox have a loaded roster that could be useful to you and strengthen your chances of making it to the postseason in your fantasy baseball league. Here are the top five Red Sox players that you should keep a watch for this year.
Dustin Pedroia –Second Baseman
The word injury will be a common theme on this list since the Red Sox were dealing with a ton of injuries last year. Last year Dustin had a few injuries that plagued his production. Yet even with a torn ligament in his pinkie, Pedroia was able to hit nine home runs and get 20 stolen bases after the All-Star break. There was also the issue of the coach Bobby Valentine and his poor relationship with the team. Now with the familiar face of John Farrell as the head coach, Pedoria and the team could do some real damage as long as they can all stay healthy.
Pedroia’s 2013 projections: AVG: .293 R: 92 HR: 17 RBI: 70 SB: 20
Jacoby Ellsbury – Outfield
Just like Pedoria, Ellsbury dealt with a few injuries last year which frustrated many fantasy owners. That was last year and looking toward this year Jacoby’s speed is one reason that he should be on the top of your fantasy draft list. If you can look past year and remember his production from 2011 you might see why he is on this list. That year he was even in consideration for the MVP and if he can repeat that performance he could earn your team many points each week.
Ellsbury’s 2013 projections: AVG: 294 R: 86 HR: 17 RBI: 64 SB: 27
David Ortiz –DH/First Baseman
“Big Papi” has improved on this contact ratio as of late and so far he is looking healthy for the start of this season. While he is recovering from a strained right Achillies, Boston did say that they are looking to take things slow with Ortiz, but as their DH he should see the usual amount of playing time. If you structure your fantasy roster with a few spots for the designated hitter than picking up Ortiz is a no brainer.
Ortiz’s 2013 projections: AVG: 300 R: 84 HR: 28 RBI: 90
Joel Hanrahan – Closer
The right hand pitcher had a 2.72 ERA last year with a record of 5-2. “The Hammer” has made it to the All-Star Game for the past two years and even with some control issues that he had last year, the Red Sox pitching staff are confident in Joel’s ability to close out a game. The former Pittsburgh Pirate is poised to play well in Boston.
Hanrahan’s 2013 projections: ERA: 3.00 WHIP: 1.19 K’s: 74 W-L: 5-3
Shane Victorino – Outfield
Boston feels with the addition of the onetime Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, Victorino should take advantage of the Green Monster in Fenway Park. Last year Shane set a career high with 39 stolen bases, so along with Ellsbury, these two could be a huge threat to steal some bases for the Sox. With his performance dropping off a bit last year, you might be able to get Victorino in later rounds.
Victorino’s 2013 projections: ERA .266 R: 82 HR: 11 RBI: 61 SB: 28