Evaluating the starters: RF Shane Victorino

Welcome to Boston Shane Victorino, welcome to the media market that will make you feel smaller than an ant, welcome to a city with huge expectations. Newcomer to the Red Sox this year is 9 year MLB veteran Shane Victorino will be expected to be the patroller of right field in Fenway for the next 3 years. To warn everyone I am a huge fan of Victorino, I graduated from the same high school that he did, 11 years later and have been privileged to meet him after he won the world series with the Phillies in 2008. That aside Victorino needs to come to Boston and regain the form that he once had while he was in Philadelphia. Victorino has traditionally been a center fielder so the transition to right field may be strange for him but one that he should adjust to quickly.
This season Victorino will most likely be the most flexible member of the lineup, hitting in almost every spot. He has the ability to bat anywhere in the 1-3 spots and anywhere in the 6-9 spots, but will most likely spend most of the season in the 2 or 3 spot. Last season Victorino played for the Phillies before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played in 154 games between the two clubs and hit for a .255 average. He hit 11 home runs and compiled 55 RBI's. One of Victorino's biggest attributes is his speed, he stole a career high 39 bases last year. His offensive WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was 2.3.

Victorino is best know for his defense. Last season he played at least an inning in every outfield position. He played CF for 109 games, LF for 48 and RF for 1 game last season. Victorino won the Golden Glove award in 2008, 2009, and 2010 while a member of Philadelphia. While playing CF last season Victorino had 256 total chances to make an out, and only committed 2 errors. He had 7 outfield assists, and contributed in 2 double plays. He earned a fielding percentage of .992.
Victorino certainly ads a boost to this team, both offensively, defensively and with spirit. Victorino is one of the happiest, most outgoing players in major league baseball. It may take him some time to adjust to the tricky RF that is a signature part of Fenway Park but after much practice and game experience he should be a seasoned veteran out there. Offensively I project him to hit in the ballpark of .250-.275 with above 60 RBI's. Shane should steal more than 30, and score between 75-80 runs this season. Victorino has started spring training in a slump but will hopefully break out of it soon and be moving full speed in the right direction when the season begins. The Boston media could be all over Victorino early on in the season but I expect him to ignore them and be able to have a great first season in Boston. Looking back at the end of the season we will hopefully be talking about how Victorino provided the all around spark that provided the team with the motivation and energy to make an excellent run at the World Series championship.

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