Sunday, February 17, 2008

2008 Red Sox-Yankees Comparison- First Base

In total I am planning 15 installments of this series. One for each starting position player, one for each member of the pitching rotation, one for the bullpen, and one for the bench. I`m trying to be as impartial as I can but I don't know Boston as well as the Yankees. I anyone has any errors to point out please do so.

First Base

Yankees- Wilson Betemit/Shelley Duncan/Jason Giambi/Jason Lane/Morgan Ensberg/Juan Miranda- This is a wide open field for the Yankees. The past offseason the Yankees decided to get a monopoly on potential first baseman with big righty/lefty splits. First of all, lets eliminate Jason Lane who probably has little to no chance of making the team. Now, the Yankees will likely go with a plattoon. Shelley Duncan or Morgan Ensbergy will be the one on the right-handed half and the left-handed half would be either Betemit or Miranda. Lets be honest about Shelley for a minute. Even though every time Shelley Duncan blinks a new day begins he takes huge cuts and their are some holes in his swing. What he did last year was probably just a fluke. Although he might do well intially he`s probably not going to succeed for a full season. On the other hand, if Ensberg can regain some of what he was a few years ago he could be huge for the Yankees. Juan Miranda was a beast against lefties in his first season of baseball in America. I like him a lot but he might have to spend some more time in the minors. Betemit was traded for Scott Proctor last year at the deadline and at that point I liked the deal. Whoever emerges in Spring Training will get the job and its all guessing right now. If nobody does though, Giambi could get the job and they`ll just deal with his bad defense. Their are reports he showed up to camp in great shape which is a good sign. Again, we`ll just have to wait and see.

Red Sox- Kevin Youkilis- The first base situation for the Red Sox is a lot more clear than the Yankees. Youkillis is the kind of player you would love to have on your team but hate when he`s on the other team. He has great plate discipline and will work up the opposing pitcher's pitch count. He`s unbelievably frustrating because he will never swing at a bad pitch. This gave him a .390 OBP. He`s also a very good fielder though it doesn't mean much at first base. He`s cheap to.

Conclusion- Red Sox- Youkillis is a very good player and the Yankees can only hope they have production anywhere near what he will do. The only way they will match Youkillis is if Giambi plays first and he returns to his old self in a contract year.

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