We move on with our power rankings in Boston with #14 the improved Boston Red Sox.
Projected Record: 85-77 3rd In AL East
Potential Lineup: RF Betts #50, 2B Pedroia #15, SS Bogaerts #2, DH Ortiz #34, 1B Ramirez #13, 3B Sandoval #48,C Swihart #23, LF Castillo #38, CF Bradley JR #25
Potential Rotation: 1.Price #24, 2.Buchholz #11, 3.Porcello #22, 4.Rodriguez #52, 5.Kelly #56
Potential Bullpen: CL Kimbrel #46, 8th Uehara #19, 7th Smith #39 Mid Relief: Tazawa #36, Ross JR #28, Layne #59, Wright #35
Potential Bench: C Hanigan #10, OF Young #30, IF/OF Holt #12, IF Shaw #47
Injuries: P Workman #67
After a dreadful first half in 2015 the Red Sox turned things around in the second half thanks to their young star position players but the Sox second half rebirth was a too little and to late and for the second straight year the Sox finished last in the AL East just two seasons removed from winning it all in 2013. Despite the fact both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez had dreadful first seasons in Boston the Red Sox still scored the 4th most runs in the majors in great thanks to young starts Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and of course the legendary David Ortiz who will be hanging up his cleats after the 2016 season. The Sox offense has the potential to be just as good in 2016 as they enter the season with almost the exact same lineup. The Sox will hope though that Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez can rebound from awful 2015 campaigns which would make the Sox would have the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball. Everyone knew entering 2015 the Red Sox starting pitching was just not good enough. The team’s combined starter ERA in 2015 was .439. They lacked a true ace and did not even really have a strong number 2 starter. Despite Eduardo Rodriguez’s promising start to his MLB career and improvement at the end of the season from Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly the Sox still needed an ace and they made sure to spend big bucks to get that ace this offseason inking David Price to a contract that will give Price $31 million dollars a year. Despite Price however the Sox rotation is still a little shaky they’ll have to rely on Clay Buchholz to stay healthy, Rick Porcello to be more consistent, Eduardo Rodriguez to prove he’s not a one year wonder and see if Joe Kelly can move his pitches around the zone. These are a lot of question marks and it depends how many of these question marks are answered in a positive way to determine the success of the Red Sox starting staff in 2016. As for the bullpen which was also very problematic in 2015 it looks as if it could be one of the best in the game in 2016. By bringing in the best closer in the game Craig Kimbrel to go with another great closer who will be demoted to the 8th inning in Koji Uehara, and trading for hard throwing Carson Smith the Red Sox back end of the bullpen looks very strong and can bail out their starting staff if they are unable to give more than 6 innings. The Red Sox should be much improved in 2016 with a mix of young and veteran talent. Yet I am just not sold on their starting staff even with David Price. Look for the Sox to still contend for an AL East title and an AL Wild card spot.