Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The rebuilding Boston Red Sox, who missed the playoffs last season amid the chaos that surrounded manager Bobby Valentine's presence in the clubhouse, aimed at free agency as the means to get the roster back in working order and return to their customary spot at the top of the sport.  They wasted little time on that front once the opening bell rang to usher in free agency, signing C/1B Mike Napoli, SP Ryan Dempster, and outfielder Shane Victorino to new contracts.  It is the latter whom we will profile in our latest 2013 Fantasy Baseball Player Analyzer in order to try and figure out what the Red Sox' newest outfielder could provide of the team and his potential owners this season.

The word "new" should not be throw in much with Victorino these days as he is no spring chicken at 32 years old.  Many raised serious eyebrows about the three-year/$39 million dollar deal Victorino got on his age alone as guys whose heavy reliance on speed make for some decent-sized risks once they pass the age of 30.  And it is the speed game that has made Victorino most known in the fantasy baseball community, as he has stolen over 30 bases four times in his career, including a personal high of 39 set last season.  The fact that Victorino was still very aggressive on the basepaths and that he was successful in doing so, quiets some of the worry one would have about his age causing a dropoff there in 2013.  The Red Sox are also historically near the top of the majors in steals so Victorino should have his chances in that part of his game once again. 

Looking at the rest of his game, Victorino has hit double-digits in home runs each of the last 6 seasons, with a high of 18 in 2010.  While he hit only 11 last season, Victorino should be right in the realm of 15-18 home runs in the hitting paradise that is Fenway Park.  Also depending on where he hits in the order, with second or sixth being the most likely, Victorino should score a very good amount of runs (if he hits second) or drive in a decent batch of guys on base (if he hits sixth).  Finally, the one glaring issue with Victorino right now is his batting average, which has come in at an ugly .261 and .255 the last two seasons.  After being generally a .285-300 guy early on in his career, Victorino has seemed to trade average for more power since 2010.  That coincided with the Phillies opening up their new launch pad ballpark which lends credence to his idea.  Hitting in Fenway Park will no doubt invite Victorino to swing for the fences once again and so we have to assume he is now more of a .265 guy than .285.

All in all, Victorino remains a solid and somewhat underrated fantasy baseball outfielder.  His durability is another very nice aspect of his game and is worth an extra buck or two on draft day.  While he won't light the world on fire in anything other than stolen bases, Victorino is as solid bat who can help across the board in the standard fantasy baseball categories.

2013 PROJECTION:  .265 16 HR 82 RBI 88 R 36 SB

No comments:

Post a Comment