The 2023 Red Sox are a flawed team, but one of their biggest strengths has been their starting lineup. Boston teams are usually known for their hitting, and this year’s squad has been no different, ranking near the top of the league in categories such as runs, hits and OPS.
While Chaim Bloom’s roster-building strategies are often questionable, there’s no denying that he’s done a good job assembling the offense this year. His signings of Masataka Yoshida, Justin Turner and Adam Duvall have all paid off, giving some much-needed help to the team’s existing core.
With several players on one-year deals and given Bloom’s penchant for trading veteran players, however, Boston’s lineup may look considerably different in 2024. Here’s an early preview of what the Red Sox’s starting lineup may look like next year.
Red Sox 2024 Projected Lineup
C – Connor Wong
Catchers are often late-bloomers, and Connor Wong was no exception. It took him until his age-27 campaign, but he’s finally established himself as a reliable starting backstop for Boston. While his offense leaves something to be desired, his solid defense behind the plate and increasing comfort level with the pitching staff means he’ll likely be around for a while, as he’s not eligible for free agency until 2029.
1B – Triston Casas
Triston Casas overcame a slow start and has been absolutely raking over the past few months, quieting any concerns that he wouldn’t be able to stick in the majors. His fielding is tough to watch, but he more than makes up for it with his elite plate discipline and plus power. The 23-year-old former first-round pick is enjoying a strong rookie season and looks like Boston’s first baseman for the foreseeable future.
2B – Luis Urias
The Red Sox took a chance by trading for Luis Urias at the trade deadline, as he was batting just .145/.299/.236 for Milwaukee. His offense has improved since he joined Boston, suggesting he may be able to bounce back to being the player who slugged 39 home runs between 2021 and 2022 combined. The 26-year-old is still under team control for two more years, so barring a collapse down the stretch the second base job should be his to lose in 2024.
SS – Trevor Story
Super prospect Marcelo Mayer should be up in the majors at some point in 2024, but Trevor Story is the shortstop until further notice (or until he gets hurt again).
3B – Rafael Devers
Next year marks the start of Rafael Devers’ 10-year extension with the Red Sox, so he’s going to be a fixture at the hot corner for a longgg time.
LF – Masataka Yoshida
A lot of people (myself included) were skeptical of Bloom for giving Masataka Yoshida so much money last offseason, but the investment is already paying off. Yoshida looks like the real deal in his first season stateside and should be a mainstay in Boston’s lineup for years to come. The defense is another story, but hopefully he gets better at playing the Green Monster over time.
CF – Jarren Duran
Jarren Duran looked like he was going to be a major bust after two terrible seasons to begin his career, but he’s really turned things around this year after adjusting his batting stance in the offseason. Duran has proved that he’s a player to build around, especially since he has the speed to cover Fenway Park’s spacious center field.
RF – Teoscar Hernandez
This one’s a bit of a guess, but I can see Bloom trading Alex Verdugo this offseason. Verdugo’s been a constant headache during his time in Boston and is only one year away from free agency, which is when Bloom typically likes to move on from his right fielders — just ask Mookie Betts and Hunter Renfroe. If that happens, Teoscar Hernandez could be a good replacement option in free agency as a right-handed power hitter who should thrive at Fenway Park.
DH – Justin Turner
Justin Turner has a $13.4 million player option for 2024, which I think he’ll probably pick up. He’s going to be 39 next season, so there probably won’t be a ton of interest for him in free agency. He also may not want to switch teams for the second year in a row at this stage in his career. He seems to like playing in Boston and if he thinks the team has a legitimate shot to contend in 2024, I could see him sticking around.
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