At the start of the 2013 MLB season and with David Ortiz starting the year on the DL for the Boston Red Sox, a lot of people really didn’t expect the 37-year-old DH to be as productive as he has been in year’s past. However, that’s hardly been the case this season.
Ortiz proved that he was going to perform as soon as he was able to take the field this season. In his first nine games of the year in April, Ortiz was hitting .500 with a 1.429 OPS and had already put up three home runs, six doubles and 15 RBIs. He looked like the slugger that we’ve come to know him as.
He slowed down a bit in May as he hit .275 with a .862 OPS, but he was still able to notch six home runs, five doubles and 20 RBIs over the month. The curious thing about his numbers in both April and May, though, were that he was walked just a total of 16 times over that span.
With his bat heating up again in June as he’s hitting .292 with a 1.029 OPS this month, that trend of him not being walked that often is starting to shift. After being walked just 16 total times through the first month of the season, Ortiz has already been walked 18 times in the month of June.
Over their two-game series with the Colorado Rockies that concluded on Wednesday, Ortiz went up to the plate nine times and was walked five times. They showed no fear in walking Ortiz so that they could pitch to Mike Napoli. That’s not a knock on Napoli as much as it is a testament to how good Ortiz has been this season.
The Red Sox shouldn’t expect teams to walk Big Papi as much as the Rockies did over the Red Sox 11-4 and 5-3 wins on Tuesday and Wednesday, but they can expect teams to respect Ortiz’s recent performance. Even at his age, he’s still a major threat and that’s no secret to the rest of the league.