Every year since high school, Brennan’s off-season training was intense and legendary, spring training 2017 was no exception. He came into Spring Training with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent looking to take on a starting outfield role. It happened three-quarters of the way through. Spring training, with Brennan leading the Red Sox in at-bats, showing what he could do with regular playing time, hitting .303 with five doubles, a home run, slugging .545, OPS .840.
On a dive to make a shoestring catch, Brennan’s glove caught in the turf, severely fracturing his wrist, cutting short an outstanding spring training. “It was a freak thing that can happen when you lay out for a ball,” Boesch said, “but my pitchers and teammates have to know I’m going to go all out to back them up, 110% all the time.” The pain did not go away after wrist surgery – and a career cut short was the result.
On Friday, the Boston Red Sox were defeated by the New York Yankees by a final score of 6-4 in their first Spring Training meeting of 2016. Despite the loss, there are still some positives to take out of the game, and one of those positives is the play of Brennan Boesch.
Yes, it’s still extremely early in Spring Training, two things that should make anyone weary about looking into stats, but it’s impossible to deny Boesch has been swinging the bat well…
Mookie Betts led the game off with a triple and was immediately brought home by a Brock Holt single. That was all the scoring the Red Sox got until the eighth inning, when Boesch hit a one out solo home run and Ryan LaMarre hit a two-run home run with two outs.
Boesch is now hitting .364 (4-11) with two doubles, one home run, two runs batted in, and four runs scored. It’s an extremely small sample size, but the Red Sox have to be excited about the depth Boesch could provide if he continues to play well. The 30-year old left-handed hitter had some big seasons in the Majors a few years ago, and if he can remind the Red Sox of that potential, he may become a very valuable asset…
(Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America)
Boston Red Sox announced that they have signed Brennan Boesch to a contract that will pay the veteran outfielder $1,000,000 for his Major League service in 2016. Boesch adds to the Red Sox a power-hitting left handed bat, with versatility – he has seen action in all three outfield positions, at designated hitter and First Base.
Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski first elevated Brennan to the Major Leagues as the Detroit Tigers’ General Manager,and was rewarded by two straight American League Rookie-of-the-Month honors and a three-year Major League starter during two Division Championship seasons.
Rebounding from injury in 2014, Brennan won the AAA Batting Title hitting .332 with 26 homers, and he anticipated opportunity in 2015 with the Cincinnati Reds. But the Reds faltered early, dropping to last place. When Major League opportunity gave way to a team rebuilding, regular at-bats in the Reds lineup dried up – and so Brennan again dominated at AAA, finishing with a .320 average and a look ahead to a new Major League opportunity.
“I have always loved playing in Fenway Park,” Boesch said, “and I am really excited to be with such a winning organization. The Red Sox are a World Series’ contender year after year, and I look forward to earning opportunities to make the club and help them win it all in 2016.”
It is no secret that the toughest job in the Major Leagues is coming in cold off the bench to face the other team’s closer, usually somebody throwing in the high ‘90s with nasty stuff. Reds Manager Bryan Price has often been quoted as saying how teams have to find at-bats for bench players in order to keep them fresh and ready when the need arises. Brennan Boesch embraced this role with the Reds, making the Reds’ roster after a very solid spring training, getting named to the Bleacher Report’s MLB “All-Spring-Training Team,” and coming off an extraordinary last season when he won the AAA Batting Title along with a league-leading OPS and 25 homeruns.
But it is also no secret that Boesch is a hard-working student of the science of hitting a baseball, a science that he’d tell you it depends on perfect timing, rhythm, balance, and repetition. With at bats few and far between during the first weeks of the new season, timing and rhythm, and results suffered. With options remaining for Boesch and the club needing to close a revolving door on injuries, the Reds sent Boesch to their AAA Louisville Bats. After shaking off rust during his first two games, Brennan quickly found his mojo. Getting the at-bats and the repetition to lock in, he has done just that. Although Brennan knows full well this is a process, he has been living in the moment, preparing one day at a time and results are encouraging. Playing every day, Boesch is hitting .420 through July 4, an eye-popping .528 over his last 10 games, with a 12-game hitting streak going and off-the-chart On-Base %, Slugging % and OPS – and as pitchers know who they are dealing with and work around him, the walks have been coming more frequently too.
It isn’t about the numbers, Boesch says. It’s about rhythm and timing and making the adjustments needed to help his team, whether it’s off the bench or in the field.
After a promising first series against the Cincinnati Reds will look to establish significant territory in the NL Central standings. Their next 19 games will feature NL Central opponents, and 22 of their next 26 games in total.
That offers plenty opportunity for players on the roster to establish themselves quickly in what aims to be one of the more competitive divisions in baseball. There are certain players whose emergence shouldn’t be unexpected, while others may be a pleasant surprise.
The following is a short list of the top candidates to enjoy a breakout season in 2015…
Should anything happen to Bruce, Billy Hamilton or Byrd, the Reds, in my opinion, are well equipped to address the void. Furthermore, should either one of the three significantly underperform, they could have competition.
It may sound like an exaggeration, but grabbing Brennan Boesch was a very calculating move by Walt Jocketty. Yes, he had a ridiculous spring training. He slashed .361/.359/.607 in 61 at-bats, while also leading the team in home runs at four and RBI at 14. While impressive, it’s just spring training.
But consider his most recent professional body of work. Yes, it was Triple-A, but he slashed .332/.381/.636 in 407 plate appearances.
Boesch was released from the Detroit Tigers because of battling thumb and oblique injuries. But he showed real potential. Take it from his…bio:
“Boesch won the American League Rookie of the Month Award the first two full months he was in the major leagues. He was the starting right fielder for three years with the Detroit Tigers during their dominance of the AL Central, and then with the New York Yankees in 2013 until being sidelined by a shoulder injury.”
Cincinnati is a fan base that can attest to how crippling injuries can be. But the stars may have aligned for the Reds to grab a very talented player at a bargain price.
When Boesch was called back up to the Los Angeles Angels in August after being demoted in April and then getting another shot in September as a regular guy, he hit in seven of his final 14 games, three of which were multi-hit games.
Who knows what he’ll ultimately do for this team? But he’s trending way up, and the bottom floor is getting crowded on this guy.
“[Manager Bryan] Price on Boesch: ‘He hit over .330 in Triple-A last year. He’s played over four years in the big leagues and has been a solid big-league player. I think he kind of found himself again last year in Triple-A. Not only did he hit, he ran the bases well. He played center field impeccably. He has a business-like attitude. I think he’s a great fit for our club.’”
With the best performance in the Major Leagues this spring among all right-fielders, Brennan Boesch was named to the Bleacher Report’s “All-Spring Training Team.” As reporters and bloggers have fun predicting this year’s successes, Brennan has done all that’s been asked, and more, in center field as well as right field.
“Brennan Boesch continued his torrid spring with two more hits, increasing his average to .385. ‘(Dominguez) had a great day — Boesch and Dominguez have had good, consistent at-bats,’ Price said. ‘They’re doing some really good things and Brennan’s hitting left-handed pitching real well.’”
TEMPE, Ariz. — Chris Dominguez hit a three-run home run and Brennan Boesch went 2-for-5 as the Reds beat the Angels, 8-6, on Sunday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Reds manager Bryan Price said “Boesch and Dominguez had good, consistent at-bats. They’re just doing some really good things. Brennan is hitting the left-handed pitching real well. We did some nice things there…”
Says the Bleacher Report, “Boesch gives the Reds a guy who can fill in at all three outfield spots and possibly first base. ‘[Boesch] certainly can help us. There’s no doubt about it,’ Reds manager Bryan Price said earlier this month, per John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Boesch is hitting .385/.370/.673 with a 1.043 OPS, four home runs, three doubles and 14 RBI in 52 at-bats.”