Boston Red Sox Midseason Grades


Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; American League managers

John Farrell

(right) of the Boston Red Sox and

Terry Francona

(left) of the Cleveland Indians talk before the first round during the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get into some predictions and hopes for the second half of the year, let’s take a look at the first-half performance of the Boston Red Sox and how they grade out individually.


A.J. Pierzynski – F

David Ross– B

Christian Vazquez – INC.

Besides his mediocre-at best production on the field, it became apparent through reports that A.J. was not going over well in the clubhouse. That made it easy to designate him for assignment and call up Vazquez. The jury is still out on the youngster and we will get plenty of looks at him in the second half. Ross has been a professional as usual, but his hitting is down and he is clearly running out of steam in his playing career.

First Base:

Mike Napoli– C+

Mike Carp – C-

Napoli was sidelined with an injury, which is the main reason for his poor grade. He looks primed for an A second half of the year and Carp also appears to be turning around a very slow start to the year. It looks as though that 2013 platoon will be back quite soon.

Jul 13, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman

Dustin Pedroia

(15) gets a single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Second Base:

Dustin Pedroia- B+

Sure we have seen some guys play second but this has been Pedey’s spot all year long. Though he didn’t start the year so well, he has really come on strong in the past five weeks. He has his average up to .280 and with a nice rebirth of this offense, he can still find a way to score 100 runs by the end of the year.


Xander Bogaerts: C

Stephen Drew: D

If Bogaerts kept his great beginning going, this would have easily been at least a B grade. However, he went through a mega-slump much like the rest of the offense and the lack of infield depth at the big leagues forced Boston to sign Drew. Oh Stephen, you make us yearn for the days of J.D. and can’t wait for you to be out of town again…and for good.

Third Base:

Will Middlebrooks – D-

Bogaerts has been playing here as well, but his production hasn’t been much different. Middlebrooks was coming off a shaky postseason and needed a good start to the year to gain some of his confidence back. That didn’t happen as he struggled, then got hurt, and then spent time in the minors. There have been some others to play the position but let’s just lump them in with the outfielders!


Jackie Bradley Jr. – D+

Shane Victorino – INC.

Brock Holt – A-

Grady Sizemore– F

Daniel Nava– C-

Jonny Gomes – C-

Mookie Betts– INC.

Where to begin? Victorino hasn’t been on the field for most of the year and is taking his sweet time in getting back. We were bound to have one of these years with Shane during his contract with Boston. Bradley has been the same guy who started the season last year, but he is making strides of late and his defense is still fun to watch. Sizemore is gone, Gomes should be next, and Nava is not going to put together the year he had last year, but like some of his teammates is turning a new leaf. Holt has been a revelation and is the most exciting Red Sox player to watch since Jacoby Ellsbury first joined the club. A close second may be Betts, but we still have a lot to learn about the newbie and August and September will tell us plenty.

David Ortiz:

David Ortiz: A

David Ortiz=Designated Hitter=When does he get a statue?

Jul 5, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Jon Lester

(31) pitches during the seventh inning in game one against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitchers:

Jon Lester- A

Clay Buchholz– C-

John Lackey– B+

Jake Peavy– C+

Felix Doubront– F

Brandon Workman– C

Let’s start with the good. Lester has looked just like himself, and at times, one of the three best pitchers in the American League. His record isn’t a fair assessment of his season, but if he continues this way in the second half, then 20 wins isn’t out of this world. Lackey is doing a nice repeat of his 2013 campaign and as long as he locates that fastball on the corners, there’s no reason to think it won’t continue. Buchholz injury was a blessing in disguise. Though he missed a lot of time, he has come back looking like his old self and if he is right in the second half, that’s a nice top three pitchers Boston will be throwing out there on a weekly basis. Peavy may be moved before the deadline and looks uninterested at this point. Workman and Doubront have been rotating poor starts, and Rubby De La Rosa seems to be the main in line to take over that final rotation spot.

Bullpen: B

There have been too many names and faces to list here but this group has been consistent all year long. The back-end of Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara are doing their usual things, but those sixth and seventh innings have been trouble. Burke Badenhop has had his ups and downs and Edward Mujica turned out to be a poor signing. Alex Wilson looks impressive and at home in the bullpen and if Workman is bumped from the rotation, he will help solidify those middle innings.