Scouting The Red Sox: Position Players

Who better to talk to while previewing the Red Sox than a major league scout? We got his candid take—under the condition of anonymity, of course—on the Sox as part of our season preview package in Diehard Magazine. Just another reminder that no one on the web covers the Sox better, from top to bottom, than Diehard! (Part one of two)

Kevin Youkilis: "One of the toughest outs last year. Plate discipline and the approach at the plate is a little bit unorthodox, but the guy just hits. He gets it done every time."

Dustin Pedroia: "That guy, he's tough. And he doesn't lack confidence, either. Obviously made a huge impact in his first full season with them and he was a difference-maker in that lineup and a guy that stepped up in big situations and wasn't afraid to do it. In year two, he'll be even better for them."

Mike Lowell: "You watched what he did last year in the playoffs and how he was one of their leaders on and off the field. He was the guy you hated to see come up [to the plate]. And he got the job done. Obviously, you can tell what they thought about him as an organization, signing him up after the season like they did. Any organization would love to have him."

Julio Lugo: "He was OK last year, I guess. He's kind of that average guy that will probably be replaceable."

Jason Varitek: "Just controls the [pitching] staff, controls the game. You can't have enough veteran leaders on your team—championship-caliber leaders. And a guy behind the plate doing that, day in and day out, is just huge. He's one of the reasons some of the younger guys have had the success on the mound [that they've had]. I'm sure [Jonathan] Papelbon will say that and [Clay] Buchholz probably feels the same way. Those guys can't value that guy highly enough."

Manny Ramirez: "I think the one thing people don't understand is how hard that guy works on his swing. His teammates love him—he's just a goofy, lovable guy. I don't think he's changed at all. Outsiders looking in have a hard time figuring that out. Watch the guy take BP. He works on his swing, he loves hitting. He has to continue to work a little on his defense, but you have that bat in the middle of the lineup and he just produces year in and year out. Pretty good guy to have on there."

Jacoby Ellsbury: "We would have liked to have him a couple years ago. He has just taken off. He's a special athlete. You try not to trot that out too often, but he can do a lot of things on the field with his speed and athleticism. He should be an impact guy. You learn a lot about players in prime-time games, like at the end of last season. He was really fun to watch."

J.D. Drew: "Can I say he play when he wants to play? [laughs] You always hear that J.D. Drew just turns it on and off when he wants to. I know at times last year he was getting booed and frustrated, but he's a left-handed bat you like to have in the lineup. It depends on how bad J.D. Drew wants it. You'd like to see him more consistent with that talent, see more consistent results."

David Ortiz: "Impact bat, middle of the lineup run producer year in and year out. Leader of that team. You can't go wrong with that guy. He is just that elite designated hitter. And you know he's one of those guys that keeps it loose in the clubhouse too."

(The scout's take on Sox pitchers will appear tomorrow)

Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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