Building The Red Sox Lineup: Adrian Gonzalez Cleans Up

BOSTON MA - DECEMBER 06: Adrian Gonzalez stands after a press conference to announce his signing with the Boston Red Sox on December 6 2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If the Over The Monster readership has its way, the Red Sox' shiny new all-stars will be batting 3-4 come April.  After putting Carl Crawford in the three-hole, you voted in Adrian Gonzalez to the cleanup spot with a landslide win over Kevin Youkilis.

I already covered exactly why Adrian Gonzalez belongs in the middle-of-the-order when I made my pick last time around, so I won't go on about how incredible he is and how much more incredible he'll be in Fenway, but suffice it to say he fits the bill.

The interesting question is how he'll hit lefties. If he maintains his performance from last year, or really anything close, then putting Crawford and Gonzalez back-to-back won't be a problem. But if he regresses back to his 2009 form, then it might make it too easy for opposing managers to pitch to them.

I've got my pick after the jump, you all can move on to #5 in the meantime. Not that there's much suspense for this pick...

To repeat, some clarifications:

  1. I'll include both Scoot and Lowrie. After one has been chosen, the other will stop being an option. Ditto for Varitek and Salty.
  2. Darnell McDonald will also be included, while Ryan Kalish will not. Consider that my guess at the 25-man.
  3. Put it together the way you want it, not the way you think it will be.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, L

2. Dustin Pedroia, R

3. Carl Crawford, L

4. Adrian Gonzalez, L

My Pick: Kevin Youkilis

It feels wrong somehow to push David Ortiz and his monster line against righties down under Youkilis, but when it comes down to it, who do you really trust at this point? Add to that the issues with Gonzalez and southpaws, and it just makes more sense to me to put Youkilis fourth.

Of course, Youkilis is no slouch against righties either. While his 2010 line was a bit diminished at .275/.376/.487, his three-year line is rather more impressive at .302/.390/.541. And God help the manager who tries to bridge the Gonzalez - Ortiz gap by going through Youkilis with a lefty. He may as well just give Youkilis the free pass.

1. Carl Crawford, L

2. Dustin Pedroia, R

3. Adrian Gonzalez, L

4. Kevin Youkilis, R

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