Red Sox Season Preview: Outfield

Right Field: Shane Victorino

Shane  Victorino 2

2014 Stats: 30 games, 14 runs, 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 12 RBI, 2 steals, .268/.303/.382/.685

Shane Victorino made a fan out of me in 2013 and despite my eagerness to see the Castillo-Betts era begin, I am not overly surprised that Victorino seems locked into being the starting right fielder. In my pre-spring training roster projection, I had him making the 25-man as a fourth outfielder but he has been adamant that he has no desire to be relegated to a bench role.

Some have been critical of the idea of choosing Victorino over Betts (or perhaps critical of sending Betts to the minors) but Victorino was an MVP caliber player in 2013 and was at the heart of the Red Sox World Series run. I would not be opposed to trading the veteran, but as it seems like there is no market for him now the best option is to go with the most proven player in Victorino and see how everything else plays out.

We know Victorino offers Gold Glove caliber defense at a difficult position and assuming he is as healthy as he claims, he should be a good bat too. He and Ramirez are both injury prone enough that I think there will be plenty of at bats to go around between the four major outfield candidates. And best case scenario? He, Betts, and Castillo all succeed and he can take up an everyday spot with another team.

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