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How do Red Sox hitters stack up?

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Looking at the Red Sox hitter in the lineup.

Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

After Matt spent the last few weeks diving into the different position groups in the majors and the minors, I wanted to take my own look at the positional matchups in the lineups around the division and give some grades at each spot. Let’s get right into it.

Catcher

Blue Jays: Danny Jansen

Orioles: Pedro Severino

Rays: Mike Zunino

Red Sox: Christian Vázquez

Yankees: Gary Sánchez

Across the league, the catching landscape is still rather poor, although there are some very interesting prospects that could soon change that. That being said, there’s a pretty decent amount of depth in the AL East. Led by Sánchez, the offensive upside of this crop of catchers might be the best in the league. Christian Vázquez is coming off a career-best season in 2019, Mike Zunino hits bombs, Danny Jansen is looking to keep the momentum from a strong second half going into a full season, and also Pedro Severino is there. All of that could make this position more interesting than you might have thought.

Position Grade: C

First Base

Blue Jays: Travis Shaw

Orioles: Chris Davis

Rays: Ji-Man Choi

Red Sox: Mitch Moreland

Yankees: Luke Voit

This might be the worst position in the division. Travis Shaw makes his return to the AL East with Toronto after a very poor season in Milwaukee where he was sent down to the minors at one point. Chris Davis set a major-league record hitless streak of 54 at-bats which of course came to an end against the Red Sox, and Choi is coming off of a year where he set several career highs, playing more than 100 games in a season for the first time. Mitch Moreland has had his moments but is probably due to be platooned and Luke Voit could also suffer the same fate as Mike Ford has gained a lot of momentum for the Yankees.

Position Grade: C-

MLB: APR 21 Red Sox at Rays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Second Base

Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio

Orioles: Hanser Alberto

Rays: Brandon Lowe

Red Sox: Michael Chavis

Yankees: DJ LeMahieu

Second base is an interesting and relatively young position in the division with Biggio, Chavis and Lowe all having fewer than 130 games at the major-league level but all having also shown their potential with the glove and at the plate. DJ Lemahieu had a real solid season and was oddly in the discussion for MVP for a while and also Hanser Alberto is there. While both Chavis and Lowe have potential platoon issues, they both have the skills to get at bats elsewhere.

Position Grade: B-

Third Base

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Orioles: Rio Ruiz

Rays: Yandy Díaz

Red Sox: Rafael Devers

Yankees: Gio Urshela

Rafael Devers and Vladimir Guerero Jr. are two of the league’s best and most exciting young players, particularly when it comes to their skills on offense. They also, however, both have the eventual possibility of finishing their careers at first. Yandy Díaz and Gio Urshela both were having impressive season until injuries got in the way and also Rio Ruiz is there. If Yandy Díaz could finally hit the ball in the air this may be the position with the most power within the division, but either way its definitely the position with the most personality.

Position Grade: B+

Shortstop

Blue Jays: Bo Bichette

Orioles: José Iglesias

Rays: Willy Adames

Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts

Yankees: Gleyber Torres

Shortstop is the best position in the division — and it’s not close — with Torres and Bogaerts leading the way. Both players are two-time All-Stars and will continue to make appearances going forward. It won’t be long before Bichette joins them too, and Adames was one MLB’s top prospects, reaching as high as top 20 overall on MLB Pipeline. And also Jose Iglesias is there. The AL East was once the pinnacle of shortstop play with names like Nomar, Jeter, Tony Batista, Cal Ripken, and University of Mainer Mike Bordick, and it very well may be headed back in that direction with this powerhouse of young talent.

Position Grade: A

Left Field

Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Orioles: Anthony Santander

Rays: Austin Meadows

Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi

Yankees: Mike Tauchman

Left field is another very interesting, and relatively young, position in the division headlined by Benintendi and Austin Meadows who had a break out season last year. Both Benintendi and Meadows have the ability to hit for power speed and average and play above-average defense making them some exciting players. Tauchman also made his mark in 2019 after injuries allowed him to rack up at-bats for the Yankees. Lourdes Guerriel Jr. found his place in the OF last year and displayed his impressive power over the course of a full season and also Anthony Santander is there.

Position Grade: B+

Center Field

Blue Jays: Randal Grichuk

Orioles: Austin Hayes

Rays: Kevin Kiermaier

Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Yankees: Brett Gardner

Easily the best defensive position in the division, this group is led by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier who have both won gold gloves. Grichuk is also a relatively underrated defensive outfielder who has been in the top 5 for assists in a single season as well as fielding percentage. Brett Gardner has lost a step but has finished in the top 10 for assists and fielding percentage as well, and also Austin Hayes is there.

Position Grade: C

Right Field

Blue Jays: Teoscar Hernández

Orioles: DJ Stewart

Rays: Hunter Renfroe

Red Sox: Alex Verdugo

Yankees: Aaron Judge

Right field is a bit of a mixed bag, it has some guys that hit for power in Judge, Renfroe, and Hernandez. It has some guys who can hit for average in Judge and Verdugo. It has some guys who will probably be platooned in Hernandez and Renfroe, and also DJ Stewart is there. Like many positions on the diamond, the Red Sox and Yankees lead the way but depending on the platoons, the Rays and Jays can get plenty of production from this position.

Position Grade: B

Designated Hitter:

Blue Jays: Derek Fisher

Orioles: Renato Núñez

Rays: Yoshimoto Tsutsugo

Red Sox: J.D. Martinez

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton

As you would expect here is where the power lies in the batting order. Led by Stanton and Martinez who could both go for 40 bombs, this is the one position (for 2020, best wishes to Trey Mancini) where the Orioles might actually have something. Núñez is definitely underrated because of the lineup around him but he has plenty of power to rack up counting stats on a terrible team. No one really knows yet what Tsutsugo can do but there’s enough hype for him to be interesting here, and Derek Fisher took a fly ball to the head in his first game after being traded to Toronto so it’s probably good he’s slated for a DH role.

Position Grade: A-