Hey! This post will not feature any Connor Wong cards. I got these cards as extras thrown in in a package with a Connor Wong card. There was a pile of Red Sox cards and I needed quite a few, because my team collection as a whole has kind of suffered as a result of the big focus on Wong cards. Eventually I will probably start to catch up.
1. Juan Chacon. Chacon was an international free agent back in 2019 and played in Sarasota in 2023. He doesn't have much power, and hit just .241, but he did steal 20 bases. He is the very definition of a lottery pick signee. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much here.
2. Alex Verdugo. I am very disappointed with what happened with Verdugo this season. He was my pick to break out in 2023 and for the first half of the season, he looked like he was doing just that. Then, his bat went quiet and he seemed distracted the second half. Twice, he was benched for not hustling or breaking team rules. He also made some statements that make me question whether he wants to stay in Boston. One of the things I liked most about him previously was how happy he seemed to be there, but that seemed to change over night. He has one year left on his contract, and I do not see any way he will stay in Boston. I think he will be traded this off-season in fact. It is very disappointing after he came to Boston with a lot of talent. I do think he should have won the Gold Glove though.
3. Matt Barnes. Barnes had a disappointing end to his career with the Red Sox. He had some nice years in Boston. Of course, his All Star season in 2021 was a highlight. I do like this photo, with the camo hat.
4. Enmanuel Valdez. Valdez was one of the two prospects acquired in the Christian Vazquez deal, and the first to make the Majors. Valdez can absolutely rake, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. So that makes it difficult to project where he will be in 2024. He could be trade bait, he could be part of the second base solution, or he could find his way into the outfield mix.
5. Triston Casas. After a brutal start to the season, Casas came around in a big way. Only a late-season shoulder injury prevented him from making a true run at the Rookie of the Year Award. Had he been healthy all season, he likely would have had the best offensive numbers of any rookie. As it was, he finished third.
6. Chris Sale. At times in 2023, it looked like the old Sale was back. Unfortunately, he is basically made of glass at this point and the slightest injury has a tendency of sidelining him for long stretches.
7. Rick Ferrell. Ferrell is often brought up when discussing the worst Hall of Famers. I do not really understand that. He was a catcher that was an All Star eight times and hit .281/.378/.363 for his career. Yeah, he didn't have much power, but he hit over .300 four times and looks like he was very good defensively. He was one of the best catchers of his time.
8. Pedro Martinez. I do not have anything new to say about Pedro, simply one of the greatest pitchers I have ever seen.
9. Jarren Duran. Holy crap did his season come out of nowhere. It's a shame he went down with an injury, because he finally looked like the player he was expected to be for the last few years. He ended up hitting .295 with eight home runs, 34 doubles and 24 stolen bases in 105 games. Hopefully, he will be healthy again in 2024 and can build on those numbers.