This week at BP Boston I continued my work examining the Red Sox’s offense. With the first half of the season in the books – it is actually more than half, but half is the term used in the weird baseball sense that the All-Star break splits the season into halves – we can start considering the second half. My approach was to look at how the current lineup of Red Sox have typically fared in the second half throughout their careers. Unfortunately it turns out that many of the everyday players (e.g., Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr.) have tended to perform worse in the second part of the season relative to the first, which could portend the Red Sox’s mediocre offense staying that way (or getting worse). Hanley Ramirez is a particularly interesting part of this. Hanley has underperformed so far this year but there seems to be a consensus expectation for him to have a huge July, August, and September like he did last year. But 2016 was more outlier than typical performance trend for Hanley. It was one of the few seasons where he actually performed better after the All-Star break. For me, this suggests the expectations of a monster-run from Hanley over the next few months are weighing recent history too heavily. Of course, as a Red Sox fan, I hope he does mash the ball the rest of the way, but I am not very confident it will happen.
Click over to BP Boston to read more on Hanley and the other Red Sox’s batters’ second half expectations: A Study of Second-Half Surges