Monday, July 3, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, July 3, 2023 -- "Thinking Inside the Box"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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"So a player-development success like Duran, a seventh-round pick who was a second baseman at Long Beach State, is to be celebrated. Duran, who struggled to a .219/.269/.354 line in parts of 2021 and 2022 in Boston, has learned to hit the ball hard in 2023, posting the best contact-quality numbers of his career -- exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit rate. Those four doubles yesterday? Three came off the bat at 97 mph and better. He’s getting better in center, fighting the position to a duel mostly thanks to his jumps, which Statcast rates as among the best in baseball.

"The Red Sox are one of the most interesting teams as we head towards the trade deadline. They’re a contender based on overall quality and position in the wild-card race. They also have only that wild card to shoot for, and one of the sweetest trade chips in the healthy-for-the-moment James Paxton."