Originally written August 28, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
At one point this offseason for the Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino’s name was raising eyebrows. Fast forward a few months, and he is back at it again, this time for different reasons. Victorino signed with the club on December 13, 2012 to a startling $39 million dollar contract. I’m not even going to pretend I liked the signing, I thought it was a mistake as soon as the ink dried. Considering the Red Sox had the option to resign fan-favorite Cody Ross, Victorino seemed like a bit of a reach. After all, Ross’ swing was built for Fenway, he hit 22 homers and drove in 81 RBI’s in his lone year in Boston, and had a knack for the dramatic hit. Meanwhile, after a successful career in Philly, the 32-year-old Victorino found himself on the market after a down year with the Phillies/Dodgers. He seemed headed in the wrong direction of a nice career and I didn’t see him getting paid that handsomely from anyone, never mind the Boston Red Sox. Shane Victorino Ben Cherington had made the vow to stay smart in free agency by not dishing out any big contracts with several years attached, and surprisingly, stood pat on that idea. The Sox bargain shopped all winter , and besides Victorino, they really only spent some semi-serious money on Mike Napoli (originally signed, 3 yr. $39 million). The appreciation for a guy like Victorino doesn’t truly settle in until he’s on the team you watch everyday. It sounds bizarre, but he’s really a five-tool player. I know when people hear “five-tool player, ” they think of these phenom athletes like Mike Trout, or Bryce Harper, but that’s not always the case. Victorino has speed, fields well, throws well, and can hit for contact and power. Maybe the power is a stretch, but he’s got more pop in his bat than I previously thought. The point is, he does everything really well and brings a tremendous amount of energy with him to the ballpark while doing so. After deciding to murder baseballs last night (3-3, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, and 4 R), Victorino is on an absolutely blistering pace over the last two weeks. He’s got 4 homers and 11 RBI’s in his last 10 games, and has been in the middle of everything lately. The decision he made to  almost exclusively bat right-handed has been paying off. His slash this month, .313/.384/.576, is by far his best of the season, and even though that .576 SLG is somewhat of an outlier for what he normally produces, his OBP is not. Having him at the top of the order is proving fruitful for Boston’s offense who specialize in grinding out pitchers, and putting runners on base. If you put enough people on base, the runs are destined to follow and Victorino is playing his role to a T this year. All this, and I haven’t even mentioned his defense yet. In 827 innings played, Victorino has only committed 3 errors (.988 fielding percentage), and has 9 outfield assists. His work in right field has been nothing short of spectacular, especially with his unfamiliarity with Fenway Park’s dimensions entering the season. Balls bouncing off into the right field corner tend to give most players who’ve experienced it trouble, but Victorino gets to the ball so quickly, it rarely has time to get all the way back there. With an outfield that features both him, and Jacoby Ellsbury, you have to hit a rope to get it into the gaps. I’ve eaten my fair share of crow in my years. It never tastes good, but sometimes a healthy plate of crow is just what I need and Shane Victorino is serving it up this time. So it’s my pleasure to admit that the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” was worth every penny.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

NL Wild Card Game Live Blog

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Red Sox News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.