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Top Red Sox Grapefruit League Performers – Mid-Season Analysis

With a scheduled off-day today, the Red Sox are just past the halfway point of spring training with a 9-9 record; 17 games remain before Opening Day at Yankees Stadium on 01 April. While Grapefruit League statistics don’t necessarily translate into regular season success, there is always interest in how well players have performed under the Florida sunshine. So, given that batting averages and earned run averages are often skewed at this point, how do you take what is a relatively small sample size and highlight the top performers this spring to date?

Two telling statistics in this instance are on-base plus slugging (OPS) and walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP). For positional players, OPS represents a batter’s ability to get on base and hit for power, two key hitting skills; for pitchers, WHIP represents a pitcher’s ability to keep batters from reaching base.

To be considered for selection, batters needed to have a minimum of 16 plate appearances (PA), projected starters needed to have a minimum of eight innings pitcher (IP), and projected relievers needed to have a minimum of three IP. Players were also given more consideration if they had the potential to make the Opening Day roster with Boston.

Batting

Mike Napoli – 16 PA, 3 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 HR, 3 XBH, 6 RBI, 1.429 OPS

Jackie Bradley, Jr. – 35 PA, 7 R, 15 H, 5 BB, 1 HR, 3 XBH, 4 RBI, 1.343 OPS

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 24 PA, 1 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 XBH, 3 RBI, 1.077 OPS

Dustin Pedroia – 29 PA, 4 R, 8 H, 4 BB, 1 HR, 2 XBH, 6 RBI, .894 OPS

Lyle Overbay – 28 PA, 3 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 XBH, 4 RBI, .835 OPS

Starters

Ryan Dempster – 8.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.69 WHIP

Jon Lester – 14.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K, 0.71 WHIP

Clay Buchholz – 8.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 0.96 WHIP

Relievers

Koji Uehara – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.00 WHIP

Daniel Bard – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0.67 WHIP

Andrew Miller – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1.00 WHIP

Clayton Mortensen – 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1.15 WHIP

Junichi Tazawa – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1.31 WHIP

Ouch!

Ryan Lavarnway – 25 PA, 3 R, 4 H, 5 BB, 1 XBH, 3 RBI, .408 OPS

Brock Holt – 34 PA, 6 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 XBH, .454 OPS

Mauro Gomez – 29 PA, 4 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 1 XBH, 2 RBI, .476 OPS

Jacoby Ellsbury – 29 PA, 2 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 1 XBH, .550 OPS

Joel Hanrahan – 4.0 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 3.25 WHIP

Andrew Bailey – 5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1.80 WHIP