Hunter Renfroe- 7 Defensive Runs Saved: Renfroe has been one of the best fielders in baseball this season, as he’s tied for 2nd in all of baseball for Defensive Runs Saved, a stat that attempts to quantify how many runs a defender has saved. Even though he’s struggled at the plate, Renfroe’s brilliance in the field is really helping the Red Sox.
Nathan Eovaldi- 0.0 HR/9: Even though Eovaldi has been pretty inconsistent this season, he has not allowed a single home run through 50 innings pitched, making him the only qualified pitcher with a 0.0 HR/9 in MLB.
Enrique Hernandez- .297 OBP: Hernandez has never had a good OBP, as his .270 OBP was even worse than this year’s OBP. Even though this mark is close to league average now with hitters struggling more than ever, the Red Sox will need their leadoff hitter to get on base more often.
Phillips Valdez- 82.1 Avg. Exit Velocity Against: Even though he hasn’t been used in many high-leverage situations this season, Valdez has been incredible at limiting hard contact in 15.1 IP. Hitters have an 82.1 average exit velocity against him this season, which ranks in the 99th percentile among all pitchers.
Rafael Devers- .628 xSLG: I took an in-depth dive on Devers’ season in a previous post, and this is one of his most important stats. His expected slugging percentage, which uses exit velocity and launch angle to find similar outcomes and predict what his SLG% likely should have been, is in the 98th percentile in MLB, and is .60 higher than his actual SLG%.
Christian Vazquez- 5 Defensive Runs Saved: Vazquez has been a stellar defender this season, as he leads all catchers in Defensive Runs Saved. He has also been a good pitch framer.
Adam Ottavino- 16 BB%: Ottavino has always had problems with control, but that’s never been truer this season. He has walked 16% of batters faced this season, which puts him in the 6th percentile among pitchers, an awful mark. His problems with allowing the free pass has made him unreliable in key situations.
Eduardo Rodriguez- Opponent .395 BA against cutter: Rodriguez has thrown his cutter with a lot less effectiveness this season; opposing hitters batted .243 in 107 AB’s against it in 2019, but opposing hitters have batted .395 in 38 AB’s against it this season.
Martin Perez- Opponent .188 BA against sinker: Perez has dominated with his sinker this season; opposing hitters batted .260 in 50 AB’s against it last year, but are now only batting .188 against it in 48 AB’s. Perez has also retired 18 hitters on the sinker this year, compared to 9 K’s last season.
Franchy Cordero- .180 BA against fastballs, cutters, and sinkers: Cordero has always hit these pitches okay, but he’s batting .180 in 50 AB’s against heaters this season. He’s also been retired on heaters on two strike counts 30.6% of the time, a high mark.
Kevin Plawecki- –3 Defensive Runs Saved: Even though he’s done well at the plate, Plawecki hasn’t done well behind the dish. He is 83rd out of 86 catchers in defensive runs saved, and actually cost his team 3 runs.
J.D. Martinez- .325 BA against fastballs, cutters, and sinkers: Getting back to his old form, Martinez has annihilated fastballs in 2021. He batted a paltry .179 in 112 AB’s against them last season, but he has batted .325 in 80 AB’s against heaters this season.
Austin Brice- 16.4 K%: Brice is striking out a lot less batters compared to last season, going from the 75th percentile in K% to the 10th percentile. Not to mention some other unflattering stats. It’s time for Brice to be DFA’d, and give someone like Eduard Bazardo a shot.
Garrett Richards- 2.72 ERA since April 10th: If you take every one of Richards’ starts since April 10th, which would only exclude his atrocious first start of the season, he has a 2.72 ERA. Huh, I guess it wouldn’t have been beneficial to exile him after 3 starts.
Bobby Dalbec- 15.8% barrel percentage: Dalbec has struck out a ton of times this season, but he’s squaring the ball up well when he makes contact. He has barreled the ball in 15.8% of the times he has put the ball in play, and that puts him in the very elite 92nd percentile in baseball in barrel %.
Matt Barnes- 40.7 whiff percentage: Barnes is easily having the best year of his career, and he has been one of the top closers in baseball this season. Opposing hitters have missed on 40.7% of their swings this season, putting Barnes in the 98th percentile in whiff %, an incredible mark.
Darwinzon Hernandez- 20.3 BB%: Darwinzon sometimes struggles to even hit the strike zone, resulting in a lot of walks, and a lot of heart attacks for Red Sox fans. His 20.3 BB% puts him in the awful 2nd percentile in all of baseball, and he has to have better control if he wants to play a big role for the Red Sox.
Alex Verdugo- 11.9 K%: Verdugo has shown incredible plate discipline this season, as he has only struck out in 11.9% of his at-bats, putting him in the 97th percentile in that mark. That’s a skill that’s becoming rarer and rarer nowadays, so this is very valuable for Verdugo and the Red Sox.
Garrett Whitlock- Opponent .095 BA against changeup: Whitlock’s changeup has been the primary reason for his dominance this season. It has very good movement, and opposing hitters have just 2 hits in 21 at-bats against it, going down on the K 7 times.
Josh Taylor- 91.3 Avg. Exit Velocity Against: Taylor has underwhelmed this season, and his failure to limit hard contact is a big reason why. Opposing hitters have an average 91.3 exit velocity against him this season, which puts him in the 15th percentile in that mark. If he keeps underperforming, Taylor’s future on the roster is in jeopardy.
Nick Pivetta- Opponent .151 BA against slider: Pivetta has used his slider a lot more this season, probably because hitters have always struggled against it. It’s been no different this season, as opposing hitters have batted .151 against it in 53 AB’s.
Marwin Gonzalez- 5 Outs Above Average: OAA is an advanced defensive statistic, and Gonzalez has 5 outs above average this season, with at least one OAA at four different positions. Only 5 players have more OAA than Gonzalez this season, and his elite defense at multiple positions makes this even more impressive.
Christian Arroyo- 7 doubles: Before he got injured, Arroyo was doing pretty well offensively, collecting 7 doubles in a nice 69 at-bats.
Matt Andriese: Opponent .317 BA against changeup: Andriese was very effective with his changeup in years past, with opposing hitters batting .196 and .220 against his changeup in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The pitch still has the same drop, but opposing hitters are batting .317 in 41 AB’s against it this season, a big reason for Andriese’s struggles.
Hirokazu Sawamura: Opponent .161 BA against splitter: Sawamura throws one of the nastiest splitters I’ve seen in a while, clocking in at an average 91.4 mph. So it’s no surprise that hitters have flailed against it, with opponents batting .161 against his splitter in 31 AB’s, and striking out a whopping 16 times.
Xander Bogaerts- .333 BA against sliders, curveballs, and knuckleballs: Bogaerts has always hit breaking balls pretty well, but never like this. He’s batting .333 with a .600 SLG% in 45 AB’s against breaking balls this season with 6 doubles and 2 home runs, and this is a big reason why Boagerts is having an MVP-like season.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated