Who is he and where did he come from?
He’s Raimel Tapia, the guy who hit the ball that Jarren Duran made that play on. To be honest, we’re not sure he’s actually on the Red Sox at this moment. Nothing official has been announced, but he posted the Red Sox logo on his Instagram story last night, along with a “welcome Boston” message. That would seem to indicate something. . .
What position does he play?
He’s an outfielder. He’s spent the vast majority of his career in left, but he played 38 games in center field for the Blue Jays last year. Throughout his career he’s been an average defender — nothing more, nothing less — one who generally gets bad jumps, but can make up for it with good speed and a strong arm.
Is he any good?
If you’re a scout who’s been hot tub time machined here from 1979, then you would probably call Tapia a “good little player,” because he’s a good athlete who hits for a decent average (.277 for his career, with a.321 mark for the Rockies in COVID year). But that batting average is completely and totally empty. He doesn't hit for power and doesn’t make up for it with plate discipline, either, with a walk rate that ranks near the very bottom of the league.
His best attributes are his ability to make contact (he had the seventh lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball in 2021), and his speed, as he stole 20 bags while only being caught 6 times in his final season in Colorado. He’s the very definition of an outfield depth piece.
For what it’s worth, though, he absolutely destroyed the Red Sox last year (and not just on that play), hitting .290/.318/.516 with 3 homers against the Sox.
What’s he doing in his picture up there?
Showing off his famed impression of Caravaggio’s Medusa, a masterpiece of tenebrism that subverts the traditional Greek myth by replacing the legendary Gorgon’s face with the artist’s own.
Show me a cool highlight.
Nope, not going to show you that play again. Instead, he’s a highlight reel of his 2020 season, which was by far the best of his career.
What’s his role on the 2023 Red Sox?
Honestly, I have no idea. He’s not good enough to start over any of Yoshida, Duvall, or Verdugo. He isn’t a better depth option than Rob Refsnyder. And he doesn’t have the potential ceiling of Jarren Duran. That would seem to indicate that he was signed to a minor league deal, but that seems unlikely as well, as he’s probably good enough to sign an MLB deal as a depth piece somewhere. Perhaps this means a trade is in the works. . . or perhaps this means Jarren Duran is breaking out his infield glove!