There's been a huge spotlight over David Ortiz lately because of his power antics and "surge" since June 1.
But then there's J.D. Drew who arguably has been even better than Ortiz as of late. Before the season is over, we might be thinking of Drew more like the June 2008-version than the July 2009.
If that's true, this team is getting into the playoffs and making a splash while they're at it.
After starting August off 2 for 16, in his last 15 games, Drew has been on fire:
AB HR RBI BB/SO AVG/OBP/SLG
47 6 9 9/9 .383/.482/.809
That span includes a 4 for 4 game against the Blue Jays on Aug. 20. He also had two home runs and three RBIs. He's had two two-home run games in this recent stretch.
Unfortunately for Drew, he's been hitting toward the bottom of the lineup while on this stretch, so it really hasn't panned out to a lot of RBIs. He has six home runs, but just nine RBIs to show for it.
Drew has hit in every spot in the lineup except for 4th over the course of the season. Since moving to the 8-hole -- which really wasn't a demotion of any sorts, just the lineup getting healthy -- Drew has been stupid good.
In 13 at-bats hitting 8th, five of his seven hits have been home runs. His OPS is 2.292 in the 8-hole. Yeah, small sample size, but it's still crazy to see that kind of production in just 13 at-bats. Drew's 13 at-bats in the 8-hole has resulted in 4 more home runs than Ortiz's 178 at-bats between April and May.
With this recent surge from Drew, all I can think of is June 2008.
Last year, Drew made himself an MVP candidate by hitting .337 with 12 home runs in the month of June. At the end of the month, he was hitting .303 with 16 home runs on the season. After that, his season fell off due to injuries. He came back to play in all 11 games of the playoffs, but couldn't replicate June.
Now it seems like Drew could be pulling off another June ... except in August/September.
If Drew continues to hit like this, it'll be hard for Terry Francona to keep him in the 8-hole. No matter where he hits, though, he's going to provide a huge spark to this club. While it'd be ideal for runners to be on base while he hits these home runs, the bottom line is that a home run is a home run. It's scoring that the Sox need.
Drew is a catalyst and he might just put this team on his back and bring them to October.