The Boston Red Sox finally have something they haven't had in quite some time. Hope.
For the first time all season, the Red Sox can feel confident going into 2016. Quite frankly, I wish the season could start tomorrow.
Turning a corner
As a Sox fan myself, I couldn't be more excited to see what this team will be able to do come next April.
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Everyone who loves baseball should be excited for this young group of guys. Even though this run the Sox are currently on is too little too late, it gives a lot of hope going into next year.
The Sox are coming off a three game sweep of the Orioles, where they didn't allow a single run. Not one. The last time that happened was July 29-31 1957. That's 58 years. Pretty amazing, and Sox interim skipper Torey Lovullo had some high praise for his pitching staff:
“To say you’re going to shut out the Baltimore Orioles for three straight games, I would have never believed it,” he said. “Our pitchers deserve so much credit for that.”
Stars shining bright
Boston has a lot of bright spots heading into next season. Here they are:
The Outfield -
Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts would combine for the youngest outfield in the bigs by far.
Betts has proved time and time again he belongs on a big league field, making breath taking catches and delivering clutch, timely hits when necessary. Bradley Jr. looks as if he's finally turned around his hitting slump.
We already knew he could play defense but, with this recent hitting outburst, it should give Boston some confidence for next season. Castillo has yet to prove himself in the field but, he's showed flashes of promise here and there at the dish.
Xander Bogaerts. If I had to give you one word to describe his turnaround from 2014 to 2015, it would be improbable.
Never in a million years would I have predicted the kind of year out of Bogaerts that he's given us. What a show it has been, and I've enjoyed every second of it.
Bogaerts is hitting .324, with 7 home runs and 80 RBI's and he's well on his way to AL shortstop Silver Slugger. Houston youngster Carlos Correa made a push but Bogaerts deserves it more than anyone.
Designated Hitter -
Let me tell you something, a healthy, motivated David Ortiz is a dangerous, dangerous man. Next year, he'll be exactly that.
By reaching 400 at bats, Ortiz earned a player option on his contract for the 2016 season, which will likely be his last. He reached the milestone of 500 career homeruns last weekend in Tampa Bay, giving him 36 on the season to go with 104 RBI and a .268 average.
Ortiz loves winning, and he'll be out for his fourth ring next season with a most certainly rejuvenated Red Sox team.
Second Base -
When Dustin Pedroia is 100% healthy, he's the best second baseman in the league. Hands down. I don't want to hear Robinson Cano or Brian Dozier, no. Pedroia is the best when he's healthy.
We've learned that already and he's proving my argument this season. He's hitting .297 with 12 homeruns and 42 RBI this season. Let me remind you he's only played in 88 games thus far.
Now, that's only the position players but, the Red Sox also have some starters to look forward to seeing next season.
Henry Owens who showed promise after early struggles, and Eduardo Rodriguez who, toward the end of the season, was a win almost every time out.
The Red Sox might even be able to work some magic this offseason as well, David Price is a free agent this year and he has said in the past that Boston would be a fun place to play.
Is it possible we see Price in a Sox uniform next year? Let's hope.