Boston Red Sox 2021 Projections - The Batting Order

The Boston Red Sox had a horrible 2020 season. The batting order did hold its own without Mookie Betts, though. What will they have in store for 2021? Here are my predictions on what will be the everyday batting order.




PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Stone / Boston Herald


1 - Alex Verdugo, CF


Verdugo is a rising star in the outfield, and the centerpiece of the Mookie Betts trade. He had a league-leading 7 outfield assists in 2020, while playing primarily on the corners. He doesn’t have Mookie-type speed, but he can cover ground well in a shallow Fenway outfield. With the stick, Verdugo batted .308, with 6 homers and 15 RBI’s, and scored 36 runs. He should be the Sox leadoff man in 2021.




PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images


2 - Xander Bogaerts, SS


Rafael Devers is also a candidate here, but the Red Sox lineup is thin on lefties, so manager Alex Cora will probably split Dugie and Devers up. Bogaerts is the heart and soul of the team, and has the rare ability to get hot and stay hot for any games. He batted exactly .300, with 11 home runs, and 28 ribbies, to go with 36 runs. Defensively he isn’t a top player, but he has nice range and can make plays.




PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press


3 - Rafael Devers, 3B


Devers is a very hot-an-cold hitter, but if a ball catches his barrel, watch out, because it’s going to travel a mile! He is a major power hitter with lots of strikeouts, so his average doesn’t get very high, but he did have 43 RBI’s in 2020, so look for Cora to place him so he can be up with men in scoring position. On the other hand, playing in the hot corner, oh boy… Devers is very error-prone, as in 2020 he committed 14 of them, in 57 games. Most are throwing, but he will have to regain his end-2019 form when he committed few, down the stretch.




PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Christo / Boston Herald


4 - J.D Martinez, DH


Maybe last season was a fluke. J.D did not look like himself. He had a -0.6 WAR, with only 7 bombs, 27 runs batted in, and a paltry .213 average. He is the key to 2021’s offense, as he will be hitting cleanup, and should have many opportunities. He has to become the pre-2020 version of himself, where he struck fear into the hearts of pitchers.




PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images


5 - Christain Vazquez, C


Opposing baserunners, DO NOT STEAL. Vazquez will gun you down! Vazquez has always had a stellar arm. But in 2019, and 2020 his offense began to catch up with his defensive skills. In 2019 he bashed 23 home runs, and followed that up with 7 in the pandemic-shortened season. He is the next biggest key to the Sox order, besides Martinez. If he will be able to protect J.D, then this lineup will be scary.




PHOTO CREDIT: LA Times


6 - Kike Hernandez, 2B


Hernandez was on the 2020 World Champion Dodgers, and while he didn’t play a huge role with them, he had many clutch hits, and played good defense, which landed him a 2-year deal with the Red Sox. He will be the new Brock Holt, as he can play virtually anywhere. But for this season, expect him to stabilize the second base job, before top prospect Jeter Downs arrives.




PHOTO CREDIT: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press


7 - Bobby Dalbec / Michael Chavis, 1B


I know Dalbec will most likely get the job, as he hit 8 home runs in a September call-up, last year, while playing in only 23 games. Only thing is that the sophomore slump will come back and bite him because Dalbec is a free swinger, and he has a hit-or-miss swing, with lots of power, but a small contact zone. He hit only .263, and had 39 strikeouts. Chavis is also a big power guy, with little contact. Chavis hit a horrible .212, with only 5 homers, and 50 strikeouts! Chavis is due for a breakout year, and can’t get much worse. Chavis was a former top prospect, so we mustn’t give up on him yet. Both play 1B, 3B, and Chavis also is an option at 2B.




PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images


8 - Hunter Renfroe, RF


Renfroe has always had a big bat, and could be a nice end of the order bat, who could provide some nice pop at the bottom of the order. He slugged 33 homers in 2019 with the Padres, to go with 64 RBI’s. Though he struggled in Tampa Bay, with the Rays in 2020, he is a good player to have, and is cheap.




PHOTO CREDIT: Charlie Riedel / Associated Press


9 - Franchy Cordero, LF (acquired from recent Andrew Benintendi trade)


Cordero is 26 years old, and a left-handed hitter. His is the temporary Benny replacement. One of the Sox top prospects, Jarren Duran will be coming up soon, so Cordero is just keeping the spot warm right now. Cordero is a high-upside, high-risk type of guy, who will most likely be a platoon player, hitting vs. right-handers. The other potential LF is Michael Chavis right now. Expect more backup here soon.


Final Thoughts


Overall, this isn’t a flashy lineup. But it can get the job done, especially if Martinez, Chavis, and Renfroe can have bounce-back years. If Boston wants to get back into the postseason, the pitching staff and bullpen will have to pick up some of the slack, but the offense has the firepower to win a slugfest.


​© 2020 by House Enterprise.

A Jake Zimmer and Will Tondo creation.

Based in Providence, Rhode Island

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