Friday, November 20, 2015
The Red Sox Will Really Miss David Ortiz When He's Gone
The Red Sox will really miss David Ortiz at this time next year.
Well, Ortiz posted a .913 OPS last season, leading the club at age 39. Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez, the guy the Red Sox (and many others) expected to fill Papi's shoes once he retired, posted a .717 OPS.
Ortiz also led the Sox by wide margins in home runs, RBI, total bases, on-base percentage and extra-base hits.
Ramirez was second on the team with 19 home runs in 2015. That's a massive falloff.
In fact, it took the combination of Ramirez and Mookie Betts -- who finished third on the team with 18 home runs -- to equal Ortiz's 37 blasts. Think about that for a minute.
Ortiz's absence will leave a huge void in 2017.
The fact that Ortiz did all of this at the age of 39 is all the more astounding. He joined Barry Bonds as the only 39-year-olds to top 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season.
Offensive firepower is hard to come by in today's game. The Sox mostly lack it throughout their minor league system, and that may haunt them in the post-Ortiz era.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista will both be free agents after next season. The Red Sox may make a strong push for one of them in order to fill the gaping hole left in the wake of Ortiz's departure.
One way or another, the Sox will need to somehow make up for the lost power and production.
Then there's the matter of veteran leadership and presence. Players all around baseball admire and respect Ortiz for all he's done in the game, and for his cheerful personality.
Yes, the Red Sox will really miss David Ortiz when he's gone.