Optimism has been the name of the game for the Red Sox so far in spring training. Injuries plagued most of the disappointing 2012 season for key players, but with all of them healed or well on their way to being healed, the Sox look to forget about last year and hope to rebound. Coming into 2013 healthy, Boston expects big seasons out of its stars, particularly on the offensive end.
Jacoby Ellsbury missed the first three months of last season with a shoulder injury, but the center fielder was able to come back for the second half and hit .271. After battling two different injuries in the past three years, Ellsbury is hoping to get back to producing like he did in 2011, when he hit .312 and belted 32 home runs.
Dustin Pedroia battled injuries as well last year, playing through problems with his right hand for the majority of the season. Hitting only .266 before the All-Star break, the former Rookie of the Year got back to his ways and hit .318 in the second half, with nine of his 15 homers coming after the break.
David Ortiz may not be quite healed from his Achilles injury, but he says he will be ready for Opening Day. The slugger was limited to 90 games and just 324 at-bats last season, but he made every plate appearance count, hitting .318 with 23 home runs and contributing 60 RBIs.
Shane Victorino is coming off a disappointing .255 season with the Dodgers, but the Red Sox have inked the Flyin’ Hawaiian to a three-year deal and hope he will turn it around in Boston. Hitting 20 points below his career average of .275, Victorino set career lows in on-base percentage and slugging percentage in 2012, but the outfielder looks to bounce back in 2013.
One of the few bright spots of the 2012 season came in the form of Will Middlebrooks. The rookie was off to a stellar season before suffering a broken wrist and missing the last 48 games of the season. Prior to the injury, the third baseman hit .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs. He may have higher expectations in his sophomore season, but Middlebrooks says he enjoys the pressure.
As long as the Red Sox can stay healthy, they all have a chance to lead the team in batting average. But who do you think will be the one to do it?