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Blog Entry

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

Posted on: December 12, 2010 9:30 pm
 
There's certainly cause for celebration in Boston these days, as the Red Sox have added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to an incredibly deep lineup.

However, is the lineup any better than 2010, when Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre helped anchor it?

Check out the figures below for the players' 2010 seasons:

  G AB H R 2B HR RBI AVG OBP SLG OPS
Victor Martinez 127 493 149 64 32 20 79 0.302 0.351 0.493 0.844
Adrian Beltre 154 589 189 84 49 28 102 0.321 0.365 0.553 0.919
Total 281 1082 338 148 81 48 181        
                       
Carl Crawford 154 600 184 110 30 19 90 0.307 0.356 0.495 0.851
Adrian Gonzalez 160 591 176 87 33 31 101 0.298 0.393 0.511 0.904
Total 314 1191 360 197 63 50 191        

The bold numbers indicate who holds the edge in the categories in question.

So far, the new duo blows the old duo out of the water. More hits, runs and RBI by a comfortable margin. The one warning sign comes in home runs where Crawford/Gonzalez only lead by two but trail significantly in doubles.

There's one problem, though: while Crawford and Beltre both appeared in 154 games, there's quite a divide in games played by Gonzalez and Martinez. Gonzalez got to play in 160 while Martinez played in less thanks to being a catcher and missing time with injury. That limited V-Mart to just 127 games.

Let's look at the numbers again, but pro-rated over a full 162 games:

162-game projections G H R 2B HR RBI          
Victor Martinez 162 190 82 41 26 101          
Adrian Beltre 162 199 88 52 29 107          
Total 324 389 170 92 55 208          
                       
Carl Crawford 162 194 116 32 20 95          
Adrian Gonzalez 162 178 88 33 31 102          
Total 324 372 204 65 51 197          

Now that changes things a bit.

There are a few caveats, however. First is the lack of impact defense has on this chart. Gonzalez and Crawford are Gold Glove-caliber players. Beltre is as well at third, but V-Mart certainly isn't a defensive catcher. In fact, Detroit plans to have him play the bulk of his time at DH.

In favor of Crawford and Gonzalez in this comparison is the fact that Gonzalez' power number should rise dramatically at Fenway. Crawford, too, may be able to get over the 20-home run hump that is causing many to scoff at such a lucrative deal for someone who has never hit 20 home runs. Given Crawford impacts the game in so many other ways and checked in with 19 home runs in 2010, it's a strange thing to scoff at.

In addition, it's no sure thing Martinez could repeat his numbers if he continued down the path of catching full-time, although he probably would have approximated his numbers once more in 2011. Beltre, on the other hand, has now turned in two sublime seasons in contract years and hasn't been a factor on offense otherwise. His volatility cannot be discounted.

Ah, but on the flip side, Martinez and Beltre both fill impact positions at catcher and third base. The former position is no easy feat to find above-average offensive production, while third base is important defensively and is no picnic to fill offensively.

First base and left field, on the other hand, are two of the easiest positions to find bats at -- and even defense, if one was so inclined. But defense at first and left is less important than other positions.

Will Beltre and Martinez outperform Crawford and Gonzalez next season offensively as well as defensively? Probably not, but the difference is a lot closer than one may think.

-- Evan Brunell

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Comments

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 2:06 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

This is terrible analysis of this article!

If you think the combination of Crawford and Gonzalez won't be more productive offensively and defensively, you must be on drugs.

1. Adrian away from Petco Park will only increase his offensive output. Even if this current Red Sox lineup played every game at Petco, Adrian would still put up better numbers solely on the difference in lineup, top to bottom.

2. With the way left field in situated at Fenway, I wouldn't be surprised to see a career high in triples from Crawford, with Gonzalez, Youk, and Papi following him in the batting order, that will be deadly.

3. Youk may be 32, but his defense has been supurb at the hot corner, although in fewer games played at 3B, his fielding % is higher than Beltre's. Also when it comes to the stick, Youk is far more consistant over the years than Beltre. Plus, Beltre is 31 in Dominican years, which means 33-34 in American years, at least! So age has nothing to do with your argument!

4. The presence of Crawford on the basepaths with Ellsbury does change how the Sox operate offensively, but that just might mean we've got the speed of Tampa with the power of Boston, how that can be taken as a negative is hilarious. You're trying to argue if having too many weapons is a bad thing, this is baseball, not milk or red meat.

5. How is he going to handle switching to the AL? Without a hitch! He gets more protection in the lineup and faces less talented pitchers...what's not to love about the prospects of that!?

6. Who will provide power against power lefties? Youkilis and they do have Mike Cameron on the bench. Gonzalez may only be batting .262 lifetime versus lefties, but he did bat .335 off of them last season, it's not like he needs to be platooned!

7. Both Beckett and Lackey will bounce back and I would argue that in Dice-K they have the best 5th Pitcher in the game today.


Instead of trying to create problems they "might" have, just know that Epstein rarely makes mistakes. If Salty can bring anything to the table, and they start Lowrie at SS, this could be the most potent lineup in baseball. If you want to pick a problem, why not run with the only one they have and that is bullpen depth. Even then I would tell you I'm confident Epstein has that problem solved before Spring Training. So just chill out and get ready to see some exciting Sox ball this season!



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 2:05 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

This is terrible analysis of this article!

If you think the combination of Crawford and Gonzalez won't be more productive offensively and defensively, you must be on drugs.

1. Adrian away from Petco Park will only increase his offensive output. Even if this current Red Sox lineup played every game at Petco, Adrian would still put up better numbers solely on the difference in lineup, top to bottom.

2. With the way left field in situated at Fenway, I wouldn't be surprised to see a career high in triples from Crawford, with Gonzalez, Youk, and Papi following him in the batting order, that will be deadly.

3. Youk may be 32, but his defense has been supurb at the hot corner, although in fewer games played at 3B, his fielding % is higher than Beltre's. Also when it comes to the stick, Youk is far more consistant over the years than Beltre. Plus, Beltre is 31 in Dominican years, which means 33-34 in American years, at least! So age has nothing to do with your argument!

4. The presence of Crawford on the basepaths with Ellsbury does change how the Sox operate offensively, but that just might mean we've got the speed of Tampa with the power of Boston, how that can be taken as a negative is hilarious. You're trying to argue if having too many weapons is a bad thing, this is baseball, not milk or red meat.

5. How is he going to handle switching to the AL? Without a hitch! He gets more protection in the lineup and faces less talented pitchers...what's not to love about the prospects of that!?

6. Who will provide power against power lefties? Youkilis and they do have Mike Cameron on the bench. Gonzalez may only be batting .262 lifetime versus lefties, but he did bat .335 off of them last season, it's not like he needs to be platooned!

7. Both Beckett and Lackey will bounce back and I would argue that in Dice-K they have the best 5th Pitcher in the game today.


Instead of trying to create problems they "might" have, just know that Epstein rarely makes mistakes. If Salty can bring anything to the table, and they start Lowrie at SS, this could be the most potent lineup in baseball. If you want to pick a problem, why not run with the only one they have and that is bullpen depth. Even then I would tell you I'm confident Epstein has that problem solved before Spring Training. So just chill out and get ready to see some exciting Sox ball this season!



Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

While this article does leave off some key points, the overall idea is still something important to consider.  Regardless of what Beltre and Martinez did before last year, last year they played for the Red Sox and produced for the Red Sox, taking advantage or disadvantage of playing the majority of their games in Fenway.  And now they are gone, as is that production.  That is fact.

To replace them, the Red Sox brought in Crawford and Gonzalez.  Since no one can truly anticipate what numbers these guys will put up playing the majority of their games in Fenway, you can only go off of their most current stats, which were last year's stats.  In that regard, if Crawford and Gonzalez continue to produce at the same level that they did last year, the production is comparable.

Whether Beltre and Martinez would have continued to produce at that level is insignificant, as the debate is not whether they are better or worse than Crawford and Gonzalez.  The debate is whether the RED SOX are better or worse than they were last year.

Anything beyond looking at the stats the writer gave is therefore purely speculation and up for debate, i.e.
1)  What role will Fenway's deep right field play on two lefties' production?  Less HRs?  More doubles? 
2)  What affect will moving a 32-year old Kevin Youkilis to third to replace Beltre have on the overall defense?
3)  What advantage will Crawford's added speed have on both the offense and defense?
4)  How will Adrian Gonzalez handle switching to the American League?

Personally, I feel that both Gonzalez and Crawford will continue to produce as they have in the past, but that alone will not help the Red Sox improve greatly.  They merely filled the holes left behind.  The bigger issues I believe for the Red Sox are whether Pedroia and Beckett will bounce back, whether Youkilis and Ortiz will continue to produce as they age, and who will provide power from the right side of the plate in a division with power lefties CC Sabathia and David Price on their rivals. 



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:12 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

This is one of the all time dumb articles.
V-Mart is a great offensive catcher, no question, and Beltre had a great year, again, no question, but the article is so slanted it is almost comical.  It seams as if Brunell omits all sort of key information to make sure that his article, and his position, work or simply to save space.
How about that PetCo is one of, if not the worst hitters ballparks in baseball and Fenway is one of the best..... especially for lefthanded hitters who go the other way.
How about the fact that Adrian Beltre has had only two truly great years?  Both during walk years.  Given Beltre's track record he is far more likely to slip back to his usual in contract form than repeat his offensive numbers from last year or his great year in LA.
How about the fact that both Gonzalez and Crawford are just entering their prime years.
I would think for the short and the long term (talking baseball and not the huge amount of cash each will be paid) the Sox upgraded their team. 



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2010 9:29 pm
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

Crawford won't steal as many bases now that he doesn't face the Sox 19 times a year



Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:25 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

How about somebody pointing out how "BAD" Epstein has become since 07'...Becketts contract last year...beltre's contract while eating all of lowells(added to about23 million at 3rd base)not to mention humiliating him in the process!Lackeys contract.Cameron highest paid back-up since Lowell!!He just emptied their farm system to get gonzo,and crawfords got a year or 2 left at this type of production!!!One other thing...I've been hearing boston fans talk about the "fenway factor" for 40 years...and from what i've seen...it's intimidated twice as many people as it has helped...If you sensitive boston hypocrits are suggesting that the 40 SB's that he left out of the comparison are worth an extra 30 million consider the fact that he no longer can steal bases AGAINST the red sox!!!!



Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2010 7:44 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

I feel dumberer after reading that article. i want the last 5 minutes of my life back.



Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2010 3:00 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

In addition to conveniently leaving out the impact of speed that Crawford brings...and the positive impact that Fenway likely had on V-Mart and Beltres numbers...and the potential negative effect that playing in San Diego likely had on Gonzalez's number...he has also used the fact that 3B and C are harder to fill offensively than OF and 1B.  However, for starters, V-Mart isn't much of a catcher and being a DH negates the "difficult position to fill" arguement and also creates a logjam at DH since Ortiz clearly can't field a position...plus, the 3B is harder to fill than 1B argument is also bogus since the addition of Gonzalez to the Red Sox has created a new (or returning) top tier 3B in Youkilis.  So the idea that "swapping" Beltre for Gonzalez has created a hole at the tough to fill 3B position is a complete falsehood...it has merely changed the corner infield tandem from Beltre & Youkilis to Gonzalez & Youkilis.  Either the writer is oblivious to this, which is inexcusable for an "expert", or he's deliberately left it out in order to create an article and interest through falsehoods...I'm not sure which is a worse sin from a "journalist"



Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2010 2:55 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

Is this a joke?  You realize Adrien Gonzalez has been playing in Petco Park the last 5 seasons?  That a pitchers park, and he still put up incredible numbers.  Imagine what he will do in Fenway.  Also, he has won two gold gloves.  Admittedly, that is probably a wash because Beltre is also a phenomenal defensive player.
As for Crawford, the home runs and the rbi's are just a bonus for getting a guy who will steal 40-60 bases a year and is an awesome outfielder.  He won the gold glove last year and compare that to the other guy in the equation, V-Mart, I will take a gold glove over a pathetic defensive Catcher any day.
And as for 3rd base?  A guy by the name of Youkilis, who is originally a 3rd basemen and a perfectly fine offensive player will take care of that.

I say good riddance to V-Mart.  His poor management of the staff makes it so that his offensive production doesn't help as much as you might think by the end of the season.



Since: May 22, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2010 2:54 am
 

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

This artical is stupid. Most of the holes in this artical have already been spoted by others so I dont have to write a huge post. But seriously? Imagine what Gonzo and Crawford are going to do in Fenway. They will both have 30 points higher on there averages, twice as many doubles as they did last year, and most likely will have anywhere from 5 to 15 more home runs. Not to mention Crawford will be a whole lot faster now that he isnt dealing with artifical turf.  And Gonzos RBI count will be retarded now that he has Pedrioa and Crawford hitting in front of him. {not in that order}


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