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Attention all Boston Pitchers: Put the Ball in Play

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There's been much ballyhoo about the Red Sox being borderline obsessed with defense this offseason. Whether or not this characterization is true, the fact remains that they will be fielding one of the greatest defensive teams of my generation. Let's take a look at how they fare around the diamond:

The first number was their UZR/150 games in 2009, and the second number is where that UZR ranks within the rest of the players at their position.

1B - Kevin Youkilis, 15.2, 2nd

2B - Dustin Pedroia, 10.6, 6th

3B - Adrian Beltre - 21.0, 3rd

SS - Marco Scutaro - 1.0, 17th

RF - J.D. Drew - 15.7, 6th

CF - Mike Cameron - 10.3, 8th

LF - Jacoby Ellsbury - (18.3), 29th (Note - this number was his CF value)

That gives them 6 out of 7 above average defenders, with 5 of them being truly elite. Even their bench is stacked with Jed Lowrie and Jeremy Hermida being well regarded defensively.

Now, the obvious question from a baseball standpoint is: Will they have enough offense and pitching to overcome this defensive approach? It's a difficult question to answer. Fortunately for us fantasy leaguers, we don't have to! All we need to do is upgrade the Boston pitchers appropriately for fantasy baseball. I'm willing to bet most of them experience career lows in BABIP and easily outperform their xERA or FIP (depending on which you tend to prefer). We could see a truly fantastic season out of Beckett, Lester, or Lackey (read: sub 3.00 ERA), deserved or not. Even Wakefield will be useful considering all the balls he puts in play.