'08 Outlook for Jason Varitek

'08 Outlook for Jason Varitek

Red Sox

'08 Outlook for Jason Varitek

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’07 Season: The Red Sox Captain continued to get it done behind the plate by managing his pitchers well and keeping balls in front of him. His batting average was up from ’06 but behind his career average. He hit 17 HR’s and drove in 68. It is almost impossible to show Varitek’s value to the team through stats as he is the glue that holds the team together. He gets the most out of every pitcher (if Schilling did not shake him off in Oakland he would have had a no hitter.)

08 Outlook: Tek will be 35 going into the season in his last year of his contract. When the Sox signed him for 4 years they believed they might be going a year too long for an aging catcher but Varitek has proven his worth. There have been some reports that Boston will meet with Scott Boras to talk about a contract extension during spring training. Varitek’s numbers have dropped off slightly but not near what you would expect from someone who has caught so many games. The limited production at the plate is more than made up for by his catching ability. With young arms joining the rotation Tek becomes even more valuable. His average will be below .300 again in ’08 and he won’t hit 20 HR’s but he will be responsible for many of the W’s. When you look at the box scores next year for Tek don’t just look at hits or RBI’s, look at the ERA’s of young pitchers who have never seen the batter before. If the Red Sox can find a backup to give him the occasional day off Varitek will put up another outstanding season as captain.

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