While most of the attention is on pitchers and catchers as they have their first official workout tomorrow, there’s also been a fair amount of discussion about how the Red Sox offense will look without David Ortiz. One aspect that will help replace the run production Ortiz created is having a strong leadoff hitter — potentially in the form of Dustin Pedroia.
“Pedey was exceptional in the leadoff spot last year,” John Farrell told reporters yesterday. “Maybe a spot in the order that he hasn’t felt as comfortable in years past. That’s a conversation that Pedey and I will have again.”
The second baseman is more comfortable hitting in the number two spot, but put up good numbers in the leadoff role when he hit there last August. Pedroia had a .318/.376/.449 batting line over the entire 2016 season, but ended up hitting .363 with an .852 OPS when he was in the leadoff role.
Of course, if Pedroia doesn’t work out in the leadoff role, you could always put Mookie Betts back in the spot. He had a .318/.363/.534 batting line last year, which is very similar to Pedroia’s numbers. Plus, Betts is used to hitting in the leadoff role as he did so for a large portion of last year’s season and throughout his high school and minor league career.