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Boston Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo collected three more hits in Tuesday's win over the Blue Jays, raising his average to an outstanding .357. A career .219 hitter entering the season, it's fair to wonder how much of Arroyo's early season success is due to actual improvement and how much is due to luck. Although he is in the 72nd percentile in xBA, Arroyo is only in the 22nd percentile in hard-hit percentage and the 13th percentile in hard-hit percentile. With no home runs and only one walk on the season, Arroyo's value comes solely from BABIP luck, and he has gotten very lucky so far. It's likely that Arroyo has made some improvements from last year, but it would be crazy to expect him to hit .350 all year.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Garrett Whitlock threw 2 2/3 more scoreless innings on Monday, extending his scoreless streak to nine innings on the season. Going back to spring training, Whitlock has now thrown 18 innings in a Red Sox uniform and has allowed just one run, a remarkable feat for someone who was selected in the Rule 5 draft just four months ago. Despite his dominance, Whitlock has yet to enter the inner circle of Red Sox relievers, as he was brought in Monday in mop-up duty during a blowout win. If Whitlock keeps pitching like this, you have to think manager Alex Cora will give him more high-pressure opportunities.
Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez broke out of an 0-for-15 slump in a big way, going 3-for-5 in the Red Sox's 11-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Vazquez's season has been the tale of two weeks. He hit a scorching .458 with two home runs over his first seven games and hit .087 with no extra-base hits in his next six. Vazquez broke his hitless skid with a bunt single in the Red Sox's six-run first inning, and promptly got hits in the next two at-bats. Despite how bad Vazquez had been in the last week, there's no reason to believe he still isn't one of the best offensive catchers in baseball, and Monday proved he's always just one game from heating up again.
If you look at just the surface-level stats, it appears that Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Garrett Richards has turned the corner in the last two starts. He has allowed just two earned runs over his last 10 innings, good for a sparkling 1.80 ERA. However, he has allowed five walks and seven hits over that span, constantly falling behind hitters and putting himself in danger. His nibbling approach and poor command has caused his pitch count to skyrocket early in games, and he still hasn't thrown a pitch in the sixth inning this year. Richards has done a good job keeping the Red Sox in games and giving them a chance to win, but it's only a matter of time until his underlying statistics catch up to him.
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has reached base in eight straight games with at least one hit in seven of eight. Through 12 games on the year, he is slashing .370/.431/.457 with four doubles, five walks and six runs. He's yet to hit his first home run, but his underlying power metrics suggest that it should be coming soon. He has an average launch angle of 10.2 degrees this year, up from 8.7 degrees last year. His hard hit rate so far this year (38.2%) is also up from last year (36.8%). Bogaerts has been a steady, reliable hitter for several years now and it looks as if he'll have more support around him this year after the Red Sox had a down year offensively in 2020.