Boston Should Add Two Reds To Red Sox
Two of the best baseball players in the past two decades to grow up in Cincinnati have gone on to enjoy success for the team with red hats and hose, which should have thrilled their home town fans. Unfortunately for those in the Queen City, these favorite sons became stars not for the Reds, but for the Red Sox.
Current Boston sensation Andrew Benintendi was drafted in the first round out of suburban Madeira High School, and just a few seasons later finished among the top selections for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Ten years earlier Boston had discovered outfielder Kevin Youkilis, who would go on to be an All-Star for the Red Sox, while playing for the University of Cincinnati.
Baseball executives in Bean Town might want to rest two more players from Cincinnati before the trading deadline next month, only the duo will have to be taken from the Reds instead of the draft. Any deal would cost Boston very little in return, for the rebuilding Reds are more interested in opening up playing time for younger players.
Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton is a gifted defensive center fielder and base runner, but he has been a below average hitter throughout his career. Still, ESPN Buster Olney believes that Hamilton’s speed would be an asset to any contending team, according to his column on June 18.
Olney did not include Boston among the three clubs he considered good fits for Hamilton, but the Red Sox have several reasons to acquire him. Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr is still hitting well beneath the Mendoza Line, nearly halfway through the 2018 season. He is one of the few players that Hamilton is actually outhitting, and the latter would be a certain upgrade on defense.
The Reds also have an even better asset to sell to the Red Sox, second baseman Scooter Gennett. His .336 batting average is second best in the National League, and twice has been selected as Player of the Week. Boston has been reluctant to upgrade at second, awaiting the return of All-Star Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list.
Pedroia did indeed come off the D.L. last week, only to be placed back on after just one game. Because the division rival Yankees are proving to be one of the top teams in the league, the Red Sox can ill afford to wait for Pedroia to get completely healed.
Right now Boston is using Eduardo Escobar at second, a veteran presence certainly but more of a utility infielder than an everyday player. Gennett would be a huge upgrade, and he is versatile enough to move elsewhere should Pedroia return.
Perhaps through such a deal, Cincinnati could pluck a few gems from Boston. That might help atone for the Red Sox having snagged Benintendi and Youkilis from the home town of the Reds.
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