AL East Positional Rankings: Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis Whiffs in 2017

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Greg Bird
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Greg Bird /
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3. Boston Red Sox

First basemen: Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramirez, Sam Travis

Travis and Ramirez each started 17 games at the position, mainly when Moreland was on the disabled list, and then in September while the Red Sox were resting their first baseman.

Moreland started 126 games at the position, and much like several Red Sox regulars had a subpar to an average season. Moreland hit .246/.326/.443, with is close to his career average of .252/.317/.439.

He added 22 home runs, 34 doubles (a career high), 79 runs batted in and 73 runs while appearing in 149 games total. His offensive WAR was 1.0, while his defensive WAR was 0.2. Interestingly, despite being regarded as a staunch defender, the sabermetrics don’t agree.

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Moreland’s range was also well below league average, but he only had five errors for a fielding percentage of .995.

Ramirez was the primary designated hitter, so we can discuss him in detail at a later point. However, his batting average was way down from 2016 and his career average, his range was well below league average (and last year), and he only had 125 chances at the position.

Travis’ first year in the majors was nothing to write home about, hitting .263/.325/.342 with six doubles and 13 runs.

Moreland was on a one-year deal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox seek to get more offense at the position. Ramirez will be back in 2018 and could return to first base, although one has to wonder again if he can stay healthy playing the field every day. With the Red Sox in need of offense, Travis’ way onto the Red Sox roster may be as a utility player, although he doesn’t play other positions.