Which Red Sox Player Has The Most Swag?

At this point, we’ve all seen the #WinDanceRepeat routine. We’ve all seen the Salt Bae’s Red Sox playerand the cool hairdos. But which Red Sox player has the most swag?

Is it Benintendi with his flow and boyish good looks? Or is it Mookie and his Jumpman cleats? Maybe JBJ and his janitor throw and sexy walk-up songs? The possibilities are endless, especially in the outfield.

Part of me wants to say Hanley is the Red Sox player with the most Swag because of the ease by which he hits and his obvious enjoyment of life. But I’m also partial to Xander Bogaerts and his plethora of arm sleeves and other baseball gear.

What about the pitchers? I see Chris Sale and his ultimate “I’m in charge” attitude as being a keystone of Red Sox player swagger. Although David Price, when healthy, can also walk to the mound like no one will stop him.

Perhaps the best way to settle this is by letter grading the current lineup.

Red Sox Player Swag Grades

Dustin Pedroia: It’s hard to have the grit he does and also nonchalant swag, but he can still make everything look cool and easy. Swag Grade: B

Andrew Benintendi: His hair and schoolboy demeanor bode well with his social media presence and dance moves. Swag Grade: A

Mookie Betts: The way he snarls, bowls, and throws the salt bae leaves little to be desired. Add that to his hot bat and Jordan brand apparel. Swag Grade: A+

Hanley Ramirez: The guy has sweet braids, baggy pants, and a whole lot of power. Swag Grade: B+

Mitch Moreland: Other than a cool nickname, not much there. Swag Grade: C-

Jackie Bradley Jr: A strong arm mixed with great athletic instincts yields little complaints. Swag Grade: B+

Pablo Sandoval and Marco Hernandez: No. Swag Grade: D

Brock Holt: Yes. Yes. Yes. Brock Star for life. Flow bro to Benintendi. Swag Grade: A-

Christian Vazquez: Another strong arm, good music taste. Swag Grade: C+

Sandy Leon: The Venezuelan Santa Claus is everything you want in a mythical figure. Swag Grade: B

Chris Sale: Don’t interrupt him and don’t give him the wrong clothes. For that reason. Swag Grade: A-

David Price: Cool dog, Tennesee accent, nice shoes. Swag Grade: A

Overall Consensus: The Red Sox player with the most swag is probably Mookie Betts. Maybe a future award will be called MSFP (Most Swag-Filled Player)

Good luck there, Mike Trout.

Can’t Fall In Love With Red Sox Veterans

Lucchino Red Sox Veterans

The 2014 season for the Boston Red Sox has been very disappointing to say the least. It all goes back to a statement that President and CEO Larry Lucchino made last offseason at the DVD premier of the 2013 World Series. He said, “You can’t fall in love with veterans,” meaning of players on your ball club. That is exactly what one of the biggest mistakes is that happened with this team.

You see, there was Mike Napoli who was a free agent coming off a great season, but had the hip concerns and was only on a one year contract. He led the team with the longest beard, and started the beard theme that carried the team all year in 2013. The time came to re-sign him and all in New England would have been mad if he didn’t come back, right? WRONG!!!

There happened to be a young power hitting future All-Star first baseman from Cuba named Jose Abreu, or “The Canon” as broadcaster Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson calls him. He wound up going to the Chicago White Sox for a six-year contract worth a total of 68 million dollars. That deal looks like a bargain as he is now a franchise player for the White Sox. He had defected last August and was declared a free agent in October. The White Sox had a tough decision to make too, as they would have to wave goodbye to full-time play of their franchise favorite, first baseman Paul Konerko.

There were rumors the Red Sox had looked into him, but they wound up bringing Napoli back. It isn’t clear if the Red Sox made him a serious offer, and it would have taken huge grapefruits for the Red Sox to sign an unproven player and let Napoli go. Imagine what Abreu’s .287 batting average, 28 homers and 71 RBIs would have brought to the Red Sox line-up? David Ortiz isn’t getting younger and Abreu would have been the bridge to the future.

It’s hard to look back now, but as Lucchino said, “Can’t fall in love with veterans.”

Xander Bogaerts is becoming a star

Xander Bogaerts

Last October, the world got its first extended look at 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts. He only played in 18 games during the 2013 regular season, but took over as the Boston Red Sox starting third baseman in the postseason and hit .296 with a .412 on-base percentage in 12 games. This season Bogaerts is leading the team in hits and is quickly becoming a star.

Bogaerts, who arrived in the majors with a ton of hype, is certainly living up to it in 2014. In 55 games for the Red Sox this season, he is hitting .300 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and has a.391 on-base percentage. Only Jose Bautista (.441) and Shin-Soo Choo (.412) have a higher on-base percentage in American League.

To put into prospective how impressive Bogaerts has been thus far, only shortstops Arky Vaughan, Alex Rodriguez, Rogers Hornsby and Donie Bush have posted a .380+ OBP while qualifying for the batting title at age 21 or younger. Vaughan is a Hall of Famer, Rodriguez would be a lock for the hall if not for the alleged steroid use and Hornsby is arguable the greatest shortstop of all-time. While Bogaerts is moving to third base once Stephen Drew joins the Red Sox, this is still a great accomplishment.

Bogaerts ranks second among all major league shortstops this season with 1.7 wins above replacement and is second with a .834 OPS. The only AL shortstop ahead of him is Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox as he has a 2.7 wins above replacement and a .836 OPS.

No matter if he is selected as shortstop or third base, if Bogaerts continues to play like he has the first two months of the season, he will be on the American League All-Star team. If that were to happen, Bogaerts would join a very small and prestigious list of players age 21 and under that have been selected to play in the summer classic. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Starlin Castro, Justin Upton and Elvis Andrus are the six players age 21 and under who have earned All-Star honors over the last five seasons.

The Red Sox gambled last winter by letting established players like Drew, Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia leave. While the team hasn’t gotten the same production from the center field and catcher positions, Bogaerts has stepped up and become the Red Sox best hitter so far this season. It may be early, but Bogaerts looks like a future superstar in the making.