Red Sox Off-Season Profiles: Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, and Ian Kinsler
Boston, MA - For many years in the history of the Boston Red Sox, the left side of the infield was completely set in stone with Dustin Pedroia at second base and Kevin Youkilis at first base as they proved to be a solid duo. With Youkilis now retired and Pedroia missing almost the entire 2018 season, the corner of that infield looks a little different now, but it was no less sensational during the year.
Hopefully, Pedroia will be able to return to form in 2019. But now, if he needs a couple more days off to rest his knees, Brock Holt has proven to be a worthy fill-in player at the position. Holt's shining moment came when he hit for the cycle in the ALDS against the New York Yankees, but he also had a solid season on both sides of the ball. Holt rebounded from his poor, .200 batting average, injury plagued 2017 season with a .277 campaign, seven home runs, and just one error all season. It was not just an improvement in terms of statistics, though, Holt also rose up as one of the most clutch hitters Boston had. His clubhouse presence is enormously valuable and he effectively quieted everyone clamoring to trade him.
During the season, second baseman Ian Kinsler was brought in to help shoulder the load at second base. Kinsler ended up with a Gold Glove award on the season, but he never perfectly meshed with the Red Sox, despite coming up in some key spots. Kinsler will not return to Boston in 2019, however, as he signed an off-season deal with the San Diego Padres.
Lastly, Mitch Moreland certainly had a solid 2018 season, though it did taper off towards the end due to injury. He played twenty-five fewer games than in 2017, but he still managed to post fifteen home runs, sixty-eight RBIs, twenty-three doubles. His WAR was down 1.1 points from 2017, as well, but Moreland proved his value in spades with his three-run home run in the World Series that completely changed the favor and momentum of the Red Sox, enabling them to winning the championship. Moreland is signed through 2019 so we will see him covering first base again next year.