Originally Posted by doublem23
Yeah, but even AJ's pre-2012 career line of .284/.324/.422 is probably beyond the reach of Flowers's capabilities so the question is going to be can the Sox pick up enough offense from other guys like Dayan, Alexei, Gordon, Keppinger, Dunn, etc. to off set that loss and will Flowers's improved defense compensate for the drop in offense? C is the one spot on the field you can really, really afford to live without a bat if there's enough defense.
I think a lot of AJ's value on offense was him being clutch, hitting for a high average and battling pitchers. AJ always saw a lot of pitches when he went up to the plate and did not strike out that much. While I don't think Flowers will be able to do the same, he may not be that much of a downgrade.
AJ's 2012: .279/.326 27 HR 77 RBI
Flowers 2012: .213/.296 7 HR 13 RBI
Looking at Flowers stats last year, obviously they are not impressive. At the same time, he did post an isoOBP at .083 compared to AJ's .047. I am sure everyone thinks Flowers' average will improve as he gets to play almost everyday. Considering that, if he gets his average up to say .240 and still draws walks/HBP at the same clip, he will be on base just as often as AJ. I don't think its too crazy to expect 20-25 home runs from Flowers in 120+ games.
Basically my point: If Flowers can hit .240 (maybe an arduos task) heisn't as signifcant as a downgrade as people think. When you throw in the fact that he has less wear, younger, better defensively and much cheaper, it's easy to understand why Hahn chose to let AJ go.
I know it's JR's money and I should not care but if Flowers puts up a .240/.315 with 22 HRs and above average defense, he is definitely giving more bang for the buck than AJ would have.