Why Red Sox' first spring training lineup should get some attention


For the first time since March 11, 2020, the Grapefruit League is back.

The Red Sox travel down the road to Hammond Stadium for their first spring training game of the 2021 season, taking on the Twins and Minnesota starter Devin Smeltzer (whose Twitter handle is awesomely @alka_SMELTzer).

With Will Flemming and Joe Castiglione on the call on WEEI 850 AM, here is Alex Cora's first lineup of the exhibition season ...

What should be of interest in this grouping? Start at the top.

While many are surmising Alex Verdugo will be returning to the leadoff spot, Cora seems intrigued by Kiké Hernandez at the top of the batting order. The infielder has only 89 games in the spot (3 in 2020), Hernandez's ability to hunt fastballs early in the count might be just what the Sox' manager is looking for at that position.

There is also an interesting dynamic at the bottom of the order, with Michael Chavis and Michael Gettys hitting back-to-back. The two were the top high school players coming out of Georgia in 2014.

Gettys was ranked as perhaps the best high school outfielder entering that Draft, with fellow Red Sox prospect Marcus Wilson coming at No. 4. Gettys was ultimately taken in the second round by the Padres.

While Chavis was projected by many to slot behind Gettys as a prospect, he did go before the outfielder with the Red Sox taking the infielder with the 26th overall pick.