Future is Now in Bean Town

David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox Retires.

David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox Retires.


By Chris Saunders

When the Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS there was sadness and disappointment all wrapped up in one ball. With the retirement of David Ortiz, who was the face of the franchise for over a decade, Bean Town fans want to know if this young core can  fulfill the championship hope that Ortiz personified.  

Better yet, who will be that “face” of the franchise?  Who will be that clutch player postseason after postseason, like Ortiz who delivered three world series titles (2004, 2007, 2013) to the city of Boston.

boston-red-soxThat said, here are three players who I believe will carry the Red Sox, not just in 2017, but also for years to come.

Mookie Betts (Outfielder) – The Red Sox have benefited as much as any team from taking chances on smaller hitters — like Betts, Pedroia, and potentially Benintendi. Betts in particular was overlooked throughout his amateur and prospect days due to his size (he’s 5-foot-9) and questions about his defensive home. However, all he’s done since turning professional is hit, hit, hit, and now he’s a legitimate MVP candidate. He’s the best player on the roster and should be acknowledged as such. In other words; has all the capabilities and characteristics to be the next face of the franchise.  

Andrew Benintendi (Outfielder) – Benintendi had the best all-around tools of any college player in the 2015 Draft, and he has continued to rake in pro ball while reaching Double-A early in his first full pro season. He’s a pure hitter with a pretty left-handed stroke, a keen sense of the strike zone and impressive patience. Benintendi is not physically imposing at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but he has a quick left-handed swing and deceptive strength, and he projects as a possible .300 hitter with 20 or more homers per year.

Jason Groome (LHP) – Groome has all of the physical ingredients to become an ace. He pitches at 90-94 mph with armside run on his fastball and can reach back for 97, with the promise of more velocity as he gets stronger. He has power and depth on his curveball, which is at least a plus offering and might have been the best breaking ball in the Draft. Though he had little need for a changeup in high school, Groome has feel for and some promising sink on the pitch. His 6-foot-6 frame is built for durability, and his athleticism enables him to repeat his clean mechanics and fill the strike zone. If his makeup issues don’t hold him back, he has the talent to become the best pitcher drafted and developed by the Red Sox since Roger Clemens.

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