Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/28/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ukwuachu rape victim hires firm that prosecuted Winston

Leo Santa Cruz tops Abner Mares in slugfest

WATCH: Beckham makes great grab over Revis

SEC commissioner wrote classy note to injured Arkansas RB

John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on course

Rex Ryan keeping Bills' starting quarterback a secret

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves fan dies after falling from upper deck

Randall Cobb suffers shoulder injury vs. Eagles

WATCH: John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden get into shouting match

WATCH: Brian Hartline drags toes on great TD catch

Julio Jones, Falcons agree on 5-year contract extension

WATCH: Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion blasts three homers, extends hit streak

WATCH: Ricardo Mayorga taunts Shane Mosley in ring, loses

Will Jimmer Fredette find success with Spurs?

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

American Pharoah upset at Travers Stakes

Steve Smith joins family in stands after getting ejected from game

WATCH: Cordarrelle Patterson rips off 107-yard return TD

Steve Sarkisian giving up most of USC's playcalling duties

Animal shelter cancels fundraiser at Heinz Field

Mets acquire RP Addison Reed from Diamondbacks

WATCH: James Rodriguez scores unreal goals

Vin Scully: I believe next year will be my last

Charles Barkley wants to blow his former agent’s brains out

The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker