Boston Red Sox Offensive Preview

By Jack Jones

The Boston Red Sox were one of the tops to take home the World Series last year, but slipped apart in Sep and failed to even make the playoffs. Heads began rolling and now they enter the 2012 year with a new manager. Let's take a look at the orders they'll be using this year. If you're about to do any baseball gambling this year then read our overviews to get off to a quick start.

Projected Hitters

Jarred Saltalamacchia (Catcher) - Saltalamacchia's career high of 16 homers and 56 RBI were all for naught, as he hit a sub-par .230 last year. His absence of an eye will always impede his expansion as a player, but his power stats will always be there. If he doesn't improve his terrible average, then he'll have a hard time reaching his potential for Boston.

Adrian Gonzalez (First Base) - In his first year with Boston, Gonzalez turned in a pretty engaging season. Although he hit for a solid .338 average with 117 RBI, his 27 homers were a displeasure. The All-Star first baseman had just 10 homers in Fenway Park last year, which is an enormous reason which explains why he had his lowest total since 2006. It isn't difficult to believe nonetheless the 29-year-old can bounce back with 30-plus homers in 2012.

Dustin Pedroia (2nd Base) - After an injury-riddled year in 2010 of just 75 games. Pedroia rebounded back in a big style last year when he set career records in homers, with 21; RBI, with 91; and steals, with 26. He also batted .307 and won his second Gold Glove award. He's just 28 years of age and the 2008 AL MVP still has the potential to be even more outstanding over the next two to three years.

Nick Punto (Shortstop) - Punto has the chance to be the permanent starter at short after Boston traded Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies. Punto hit .278 in 63 games with the Cardinals last season. He hasn't got a lot of power, hitting just 14 home runs during his career, but he's a proved leader in the clubhouse and he is also solid defensively.

Kevin Youkilis (3rd Base) - When healthy, Youkilis is one of the best hitters in the game. The vet nevertheless , has not played more than 136 games since 2008. Different injuries have forced him to miss serious time and limited him to just 120 games last season. He ended the season with a career-worst.258 average to go with 17 home runs and 80 RBI. Notwithstanding this, if he is able to play 150 games, he has what is needed to hit .300 with close to 30 home runs and 100 RBI.

Carl Crawford (Left Field) - Crawford was a massive disappointment for Boston in his first year. After hitting .305 with 19 homers, 90 RBI and 47 stolen bases with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, he hit an abysmal .255 with just 11 homers, 56 RBI and 18 steals with the Red Sox. He also had a horrible .289 OBP. He must get back on course in 2012, and though he is going to be missing some time to get over a knee injury, the team is expecting him to have better stats once he revisits the lineup.

Jacoby Ellsbury (Center Field) - Ellsbury surprised plenty of individuals with the year he had last year. He hit.321 with 32 homers, 105 RBI and 39 stolen bases to finish second in the AL MVP voting. What shocked folk the most was his power stats because, prior to last year, Ellsbury only had 20 homers and 130 RBI in 349 career games. A drop in homers and RBI should be predicted this year, but he will still hit over .300 with a bunch of steals.

Cody Ross (Right Field) - The Red Sox are looking forward to see what Ross, a scandalous right-handed pull hitter, can bring to the table with the Green Monster looming in left field. He hit.240 with 14 homers and 52 RBI with the San Francisco Giants last year, and it seems like he'll get the first shot at the opening in right field.

David Ortiz (Appointed Hitter) - The 36-year-old Ortiz is patently well past his prime, but despite that, he put up some pretty electrifying numbers last season, hitting .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBI. The Red Sox are hoping that he can provide. Similar numbers at the DH position this season.

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