All the Bases

Baseball Insight and Analysis

On Carl Crawford

Posted by Strobl on May 4, 2011

Meric/ Getty images

So the Red Sox have a phenomenal talent in Carl Crawford.  We all get that.  Slow start or no, this guy is a stud.  He’s got speed, swings a solid bat, and is a major defensive upgrade (remember Manny in left?  Please.)

But the fact is, Boston doesn’t have a natural place for him in the batting order.  Where can the team hit this guy that makes sense?  Take a look at this post and see if you agree…

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2 Responses to “On Carl Crawford”

  1. David said

    When you have a problem finding a good place for Carl Crawford to hit in the lineup because you already have guys who are overqualified to hit in the spots where other teams might normally have him hit (first through third in particular) you have what i think is referred to as a “high class problem.” I agree that he shouldn’t really be hitting third for a team like the red sox, though if he’s hitting well that might be where he winds up. I think the best place for him to hit is probably 1st. I see those numbers that imply he isn’t good in that role, but I wonder whether you know when those ABs were accumulated? His first few seasons weren’t as good as he has generally been over his career and I wonder whether he mostly hit first when he was called up because of his speed and gradually got dropped lower in the order as his career went on, artificially depressing his leadoff numbers. In any event, between Ellsbury and Crawford, I’d rather have Ellsbury bat ninth because his history, to the extent there is one, shows an OBP at or around Crawford’s level, but with less power. Granted he could get better, and if he does the Red Sox could revisit the conversation, but the easiest solution for now would be to bat Ellsbury ninth and Crawford leadoff. Absent that, I agree that sixth might be the place that makes the most sense for Crawford, particularly in coming years as he perhaps loses a little speed and gains a little more power.

    • Strobl said

      I’d have to revisit the splits…but add to all of this the fact that he doesn’t like leadoff…I just can’t see him there.

      Third, maybe. But at the expense of Gonzo and Youk? I have no problem with Gonzalez in cleanup and Youk in fifth, but I really don’t think Crawford has the chops to be a 3-hitter. We’ll see I guess.

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