2011 Projections: J.D. Drew

May 17, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02161554 The Red Sox's J.D. Drew hits a three run home run during the fifth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 17 May 2010.

Throughout the offseason, I’ll be dishing out my 2011 Red Sox projections. I do a full set of projections for all major league teams annually at fantasybaseball365.com.

J.D. Drew 2011 projection:

422 .264 .351 .460 .811 18 60 63 2

For the past four seasons, J.D. Drew has been a productive player…when he stays on the field. At the age of 35 in 2011, it is unlikely that we see Drew play a full season, but when he does get on the field, he should remain moderately productive.

In 2010, Drew saw a significant drop off in his walk rate and OBP. He also became a liability against left-handed pitching, hitting only .208 against them. Drew began to chase more bad pitches than he ever had over his Red Sox career, which could be an anomaly or a sign of him having to “cheat” on pitches due to slowing bat-speed.

Even though Drew might indeed be starting to decline as a ballplayer, there is reason to believe he can bounce back slightly in certain categories in 2011.

The fact that he hit only .208 against left-handed pitching last season is worrisome, but it is also the first time since 2008 that he hit lower than .270 against lefties. With a little more luck — his .262 BABIP against lefties was the lowest of his career since becoming a regular — Drew could see more success  in 2011. Still, one would have to imagine him losing more than a few at-bats against the better left-handed starters next season, which would cut into his overall numbers. Drew was still very productive against right-handed pitchers, posting an .875 OPS against them in 2010.

Since 2010 was the first season since 2003 that Drew’s walk rate was under 14 percent, there is a good chance he makes an adjustment and improves his plate discipline next season. That should lead to moderate improvements in his AVG and OBP.

Also, we can never overlook what a contract year can do for a player’s motivation (cough…Adrian Beltre…cough) and Drew will be looking for a deal after this season that will last for the rest of his career.

In 2011, J.D. Drew should improve his rate stats slightly though his counting stats (HR, R, RBI, etc…) should take a hit as he sits against more lefties and misses his usual time to injury.

Categories: Boston Red Sox J.D. Drew

Charlie first started writing about baseball back in 2008 when he opened Fantasy Baseball 365. Since graduating college with a degree in English, he has spent time coaching baseball as well as working in several minor league front offices. He also writes for The Outside Corner and contributes to Project Prospect and ESPN's Sweet Spot. Writer from August 3, 2010 - May 6, 2012

4 Responses to “2011 Projections: J.D. Drew” Subscribe

  1. Joe October 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM #

    So this simply stresses that other alternatives should be considered. Not that he is a bad option next year, just that someone else might be better. Of course, then they would have to trade Drew and absorb some of his salary to even make room for someone else.

  2. doctorogres October 29, 2010 at 6:21 AM #

    I thought there were a bunch of retirement rumors concerning JD Drew after 2011.

  3. Gerry October 29, 2010 at 11:55 PM #

    If Mike Cameron winds up on the bench for any reason, we can expect him to ease JD's burden against lefties. We could see some remarkable #'s from RF, including defense. JD & others were rightly articulate about bad calls outside forcing them to swing at balls off the plate. We all saw it and pitching charts confirm it. Swan song or contract year, I wouldn't be surprised at a very good year. Good article.