In the great tradition of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn and Wade Boggs, Adrian Gonzalez brings a sweet left-handed swing to the friendly confines of Fenway Park.
As noted since the Red Sox acquired the first baseman from San Diego last December, as many as 15 balls that went for outs in Petco Park would have added to Gonzalez’s total of 31 homers last season.
When he pulls the ball, Gonzalez has been a career .393 hitter with 54 homers and an OPS of 1.129. When he goes the other way, as those other great Red Sox left-hand hitters did in their Fenway careers, Gonzo’s average spikes to .421 with an OPS of 1.210.
Of course, Williams, Yaz, Lynn and Boggs had one thing in common that Gonzalez doesn’t: Those four began their careers in Boston.
How David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez fared after coming to Fenway midcareer might provide a clue to how Gonzalez will do.
2002 — 60 home games, .278 AVG, .353 OBP, .455 SLG, .808 OPS, 5 HRs, 29 RBIs
2003 — 69 home games, .315 AVG, .399 OBP, .635 SLG, 1.033 OPS, 17 HRs, 62 RBIs
Though he came from the Homerdome in Minny, he was transformed as a hitter with the Red Sox, and his home numbers were the emergence of Big Papi.
2000 — 58 home games, .357 AVG, .452 OBP, .742 SLG, 1.194 OPS, 22 HRs, 69 RBIs
2001 — 78 home games, .295 AVG, .408 OBP, .577 SLG. .985 OPS, 21 HRs, 73 RBIs
Ramirez’s home runs and RBI remained virtually the same between Jacobs Field and Fenway after signing his $160 million deal, but his overall numbers fell.