SF and Rob had an interesting conversation in the game thread, SF saying he expected Drew to become the player the Sox thought they were getting when they paid huge amounts of money for him. The implication, of course, is that he has not — and I’d agree, to a point.
In fact, the prevailing viewpoint throughout Sox nation — both fans and media — is that Drew has been struggling since he first put on a Sox uniform. Certainly, that’s understandable. It has seemed like every time the right fielder looks about to put it all together, he either tweaks a hammy or hits a tough lefty.
Drew’s own struggles haven’t helped his cause, and his struggles are amplified by his enormous contract (along with the bizarre state of limbo in which it sat). He hasn’t been helped by the sportswriters, who openly mocked his contract before the season and seem to almost enjoy being proven right by his struggles.
Recently, the Boston Globe referred to Drew’s "season-long slump," a statement that is simply inaccurate but seems to be the feeling of most Sox fans:
- April 2 – April 23 (18 games): .350/.437/.500, 8 RBI
- April 24 – June 1 (29 games): .143/.282/.194, 9 RBI
- June 4 – July 13 (31 games): .317/.415/.519, 16 RBI
- July 16 – Aug. 4 (15 games): .173/.241/.250, 7 RBI
Those last 15 games seem to coincide with Drew’s worries about his son. But I would not consider 41 games (out of 85) of .300+/.400+/.500 baseball a "season-long slump." Drew has provided more production with his bat than many believe, and I expect once his son recovers a bit more, he will finish the season strong.
One other thing about RBI, which Rob brought up. Even during his June/July hot streak, Drew drove in runs at what one could consider a fairly lackluster pace, amounting to 84 RBI over a full season. His overall numbers indicate he has driven in slightly fewer runs than the average ballplayer with the same number of plate appearances while having more opportunities than average.
Unfortunately for Drew, his hot streak coincided with cold streaks by most of the rest of the Sox lineup, likely limiting his opportunities when he would have been most able to take advantage of them.
All that to say: J.D. Drew hasn’t been as bad as you think he is. Like SF, I expect a redemption of sorts this August and September.