If his name sounded familiar before he signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox and started making some appearances in spring training games, then that is because it should for MLB fans. He was a starting outfielder for the Detroit Tigers for a few season. But a torn ligament in his left hand that he suffered in August 2011 really threw his career off.
As a rookie, in 2010, he received Rookie of the Year consideration. In 2011, he hit .283 with 16 homers and a .799 OPS in 115 games. Since then, however, it has really all been downhill.
Last season, Boesch hit .146 in 51 games for the Cincinnati Reds. His OPS was below .400.
Yes, that’s really not very good. That’s nothing to be excited over. But this is a guy who had arguably All-Star caliber numbers five years ago. Injuries can be tough to recover from. But they are not all always impossible.
Needless to say, it would be quite the comeback. Better than this one:
So far this spring, he is hitting .278 in seven games which is not a sample size one can really judge off of. But his progression with the team this spring (and summer) is definitely worth a look.
Most likely, he will start the season in triple-A. Down there, it will be up to former Red Sox All-Star catcher Rich Gedman, the PawSox hitting coach, to fix him (and Allen Craig).
If there’s any hope fixing him, then Boesch really could be a diamond in the rough for the Sox org. Clearly, he’s a player who has helped a team win ballgames in the past.
At the bare minimum, he’s not a bad name to have on the depth chart. And if he is unable to turn it around, he’s only earning a minor league salary — so it’s not a big loss.