08 March 2011
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Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP John Lackey, SP Josh Beckett, SP
Clay Buchholz, SP Jon Lester, SP Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
David Ortiz, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Carl Crawford, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Since coming to Boston in 2007, J.D. Drew has done just enough to avoid being burned at the stake in Faneuil Hall. He works the count, hits around .275 and occasionally hits a key home run that helps us forget the weeks of mediocrity that came before it.
While we did get 22 ding dongs from Drew in 2010, the mediocrity was at an all-time high, so I'm very curious to see how 2011 goes for J.D.
Last year Drew's average dropped to .255, down from the .276 average he had carried through his first three years with the Sox. His OPS fell over 100 points from the .900s to .793. And while his K-rate held steady at 22%, his walks rate fell from 15% to 11% in 2010. In short, Drew stopped doing what he does best - get on base.
Along the way, Drew told us that he wasn't seeing good pitches, and while he didn't swing and miss more than in year's past, he was making bad contact and swinging at pitches that he would normally ignore. A quick look at Fangraphs proves J.D.'s point:
2010 swings outside of the zone = 20.6%, up from 15.4% in 2009. 2010 contact outside of the zone = 70.2%, up from 59% in 2009.
So... was Drew being pitched differently or did he make bad decisions in 2010? He's built his career with a keen eye at the plate, so you hav to assume 2010 was an abberation, but if opposing pitchers plan to use this new approach going forward, Drew will have to adjust.
Bottom Line: Last year Drew hit .275/.836 before the break and .231/.740 after the break. With Youk and Pedroia going down in the second half, pitchers were able to work around guys like Drew and Ortiz, but Drew was also shuffled all over the lineup thanks to all the injuries. With 40+ at-bats in five different lineup spots, I don't blame Drew for losing his focus. If he stays healthy (and the rest of the guys to do), I expect a better season from J.D. in 2011... though I expect Mike Cameron to steal some playing time.
Rob's Prediction: 450 AB, .270 BA, .850 OPS, 25 2B, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 60 R
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