Grading the Sox outfield

Sean Riley
Contributing Writer

Now that the Boston Red Sox are more than a quarter through this 2013 season let's take a look and make some early grades for their outfield. Obviously due to injuries, mainly Shane Victorino, there have been numerous players who have played in the outfield for the Sox this year so we'll just focus on the main players who have been manning the grass.

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury; Not the season Boston was hoping for from Jacoby especially during a contract year for him so far. With a .257 batting average and .325 OBP, Ellsbury needs to step it up if he wants to remain the Sox lead-off hitter. Ya the 15 steals is great but for Boston to succeed they need guys getting on base in front of the heart of their lineup.
Fielding: A, Hitting: C, Overall: B-

LF/RF: Daniel Nava; Couldn't be happier with Nava's improvement this year, with Victorino's injury he has played both left and right field very well for the Red Sox. Nava is 3rd on the team in RBI's and has a .393 OBP which I believe could rise him up to take over at lead-off in the order.
Fielding: B+, Hitting: A-, Overall: A

RF: Shane Victorino; I've already referenced the flyin' Hawaiian's injuries this season and while he is on the DL now it's tough to give him a fair assessment. When in the lineup he has played well both offensively and defensively. Get healthy Shane and stop flyin' into walls.
Due to injury: Overall: C+

LF: Jonny Gomes; Great character guy, good hustle, strong throwing arm. That being said with a .176 batting average this year I still can't wrap my head around why John Farrell bats him 2nd some games. Ownership brought him here for that pop in his bat, so far we've only seen 2 homers from Jonny.
Fielding: C+, Hitting: C-, Overall: C

Notable mentions: Mike Carp; limited playing time for Carp this year but he's shown a decent bat when given consistent at bats. As an overall replacement outfielder Carp gets a C.
Jackie Bradley Jr.; not much out of JBJ at the start of the year but with Victorino still out he has just been called up to the Sox. For the early on over-hype and disappointing start for the Red Sox I gotta give JBJ a D, for disappointment.