There have only been a few spots in the Red Sox first half lineup that have been held down by one player and one of those has been David Ortiz’s spot as the designated hitter. Ortiz’s contract talks became headlines during spring training and he was granted his wish with a contract extension in the days leading up to the season opener.
Ortiz has had some big hits to keep the Red Sox record somewhat afloat, but his average is lower than he would like; 20 home runs and 64 RBI’s at the break are great numbers for anyone, including Ortiz. If his average was closer to .300, that production would be even greater. Luckily for the Sox, Big Papi has stayed healthy because if his power was gone from the middle of the order, there would be nobody to replace him. His 20 home runs are twice as many as Mike Napoli’s ten before the break, on a team where power has been hard to find. In games when Ortiz has homered, the Red Sox are 14-3 and that’s no coincidence. Ortiz has continued to come through in the clutch as he has throughout his career. Papi must keep up his production because as of late, the hitters in front of him have been getting on base more than they were at the beginning of the year. While he hasn’t been the same hitter as he was last year, he continues to be one of the best power hitters in the game.
David Ortiz- Grade: B