When I watch the Tigers, I cringe every time Alex Avila steps to the plate. Of course, now that the veteran catcher doesn't play for the Sox anymore, he's rediscovered his batting stroke. Check out his numbers this year in Detroit, when compared with his numbers last year with the Sox:
2017 with Detroit: .324./440/.640, 9 HRs, 24 RBIs, 8 2Bs in 39 games
2016 with Sox: .213/.359/.373, 7 HRs, 11 RBIs, 8 2Bs in 57 games
Avila was nothing but injured and bad for the Sox in 2016. Now that he's back with Detroit, he's healthy and raking. He's already surpassed his run production totals from last year, and it's only June 8.
Doesn't that figure. And he's not alone in the category of former Sox catchers who suddenly know how to hit.
Would you believe it if I told you Tyler Flowers is hitting .350/.459/.455 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 41 games for the Atlanta Braves? Well, it's true.
Flowers has reinvented himself as a high-average, contact hitter:
2016-17 with Atlanta: .295/.389/.431
2009-15 with Sox: .223/.289/.376
This season, Flowers has struck out 27 times in 148 plate appearances, or once every 5.5 times he steps to the plate. During his time in Chicago, he struck out 464 times in 1,395 plate appearances, or once every 3.0 times he stepped to the plate.
Makes you wonder why he couldn't make these adjustments while he was with the Sox, doesn't it? If he had, he'd probably still be in Chicago.
By way of comparison, Sox catchers in 2017 are hitting .240/.316/.333 with three home runs and 18 RBIs. All three home runs and nine of those RBIs are on the disabled list (Geovany Soto). The Sox don't get much offense out of their catchers, and that remains a position of need moving forward.