With the 2021 season coming to an end for the 2021 Boston Red Sox, it is time to evaluate the full body of work. To start, the regular season will be under review. Just how good were the Red Sox this year? Finishing with a better than expected 91 wins, this team took everyone by surprise and fell just two wins shy of a World Series berth.
To evaluate the regular season, we will create criteria based on factors that help us determine how the Red Sox performed, both on the offensive and defensive sides. Also, we compare the Red Sox’ performances relative to the rest of the league.
In addition, the Red Sox and every other team were evaluated using six different categories. The idea is that each category represents a facet of offense. So, we will be able to evaluate teams regarding runs scored, hitting for average, slugging, and performance on the bases. You may notice that BsR (baserunning) is used rather than stolen bases. That is because BsR incorporates stolen bases, caught stealings, taking extra bases, and being thrown out on the bases. With BsR, we can get a more holistic idea of a team’s performance on the bases.
To clarify, each team’s offense was ranked as “good”, “OK”, or “poor” based on their rank. For example, if a team finished in the top third of the league, then it was considered good, and they received two points for that accomplishment. If a team finished in the middle third, then it was placed into the OK group and received one point. Teams in the bottom third are in the poor group and they get a point taken away. Therefore, Each team then gets an overall score where they will be ranked and put into an overall good, OK, and poor group based on what third of the league they finished in.
The Red Sox’ offense was amongst the league’s best. They finished top ten in runs scored (829), RBI (783), AVG (.261), OBP (.328), and SLG (.449). When you have the likes of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez, that isn’t much of a surprise. The team was in the bottom third in BsR. That seems just about right for a team that had its’ catcher, Christian Vazquez lead the team in steals with eight.
MLB Offensive Grades
|Boston Red Sox||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2||-1||Good|
|Chicago White Sox||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2||+1||Good|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+2||+2||+1||+2||+2||+2||Good|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2||+1||Good|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2||+2||+1||+1||+2||+2||Good|
|San Francisco Giants||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2||-1||Good|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+2||Ok|
|Los Angeles Angels||+1||+1||+2||-1||+1||+1||Ok|
|San Diego Padres||+1||+1||+1||+2||-1||+1||Ok|
|New York Yankees||+1||+1||-1||+2||+1||-1||Ok|
|Kansas City Royals||-1||-1||+2||-1||-1||+2||Poor|
|New York Mets||-1||-1||+1||+1||-1||-1||Poor|
Just like offense, teams will be placed into the “good”, “OK”, and “poor” categories. Each of these categories encompasses an element on each level of defense. Runs allowed accounts for pitcher performance, FRM (pitch framing) accounts for catcher performance, and UZR helps to evaluate the other fielders.
To the surprise of some, the Red Sox finished as a middle-of-the-road defensive team. Each of the categories saw them finish in the middle third of the league. Although that is the case, they were very close to falling into the poor category for each. In addition. The Red Sox finished 18th in runs allowed (749), 19th in FRM (0.4), and 19th in UZR (-5.1).
MLB Defensive Grades
|Boston Red Sox||+1||+1||+1||Ok|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2||+2||+2||Good|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2||+2||+2||Good|
|San Francisco Giants||+2||+2||+1||Good|
|New York Yankees||+2||+1||+1||Good|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+2||+2||-1||Ok|
|Chicago White Sox||+2||-1||+2||Ok|
|New York Mets||+2||+1||-1||Ok|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1||-1||+2||Ok|
|Kansas City Royals||-1||-1||+2||Poor|
|San Diego Padres||+1||-1||-1||Poor|
|Los Angeles Angels||-1||+1||-1||Poor|
|Offense||Defense||No. of teams||Playoff %|