What you need to know about the Red Sox addition to Raimel Tapia
Raimel Tapia is the second outfielder the Red Sox have signed in the last two days.
The 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic agreed to a minor league contract a day after Boston signed Adam Duvall to a one-year, $7 million deal.
Tapia and Duvall join Masataka Yoshida as free agents in the outfield, which left Jackie Bradley Jr. after last season and is looking to move Quique Hernandez to the infield permanently this year.
Tapia played parts of seven major league seasons, playing most of his time in left field.
Tapia began his career at Colorado State in 2010 after the Rockies signed him to a $175,000 contract. After he hit on American soil, his hitting skills stood out and he won the Pioneer League MVP award. When playing Rookie Ball in 2013.
Over the next three seasons in the minors, Tapia hit .325 with 20 triples and stole 82 bases before he was called up to the Rockies. His performance earned him a 60 hit rating and a 55 speed rating on MLB.com.
Over the next two seasons, the outfielder played in 92 MLB games, hitting .282 and swiping eight bases.
After struggling to stay in 2018, he became a full-time starter in 2019, playing 322 games over the next three seasons.
While Tapia has always been able to use his raw speed with a .277 career batting average and career stolen bases, that’s the only thing that sets him apart.
Tapia doesn’t have a lot of bat power, with a career bat of .392 (an even less inspiring number considering he played all but one year of his home games at Coors Field). His 5.5% walk rate is below average and he swings and misses a lot.
Tapia’s pitch may be the most frustrating part of his game, as his arm ranks in the top 20% of the league and has elite speed, but is average or below average in most defensive metrics.
The Red Sox may have picked the perfect time to give Tapia a chance, as the league prepares to implement a ban on infield shifts for the upcoming season.
For his career, if Tapia puts the ball in play, 24% of the time it’s a line drive and 56% of the time it’s a ground ball; he doesn’t put the ball in the air very often. According to Baseball Savant, when his lefty swing makes contact, it usually goes to the right side or center of the infield.
Tapia’s propensity to shoot and hit the ball at a low angle made him a perfect target for the now-illegal moves on the court. Now that teams are required to have two infielders on either side of second base and everyone on the infield boundary when the pitcher releases the ball, Tapia should be able to find others here and there. previously changed hits.
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