An In-Depth Look at New Red Sox OF Hunter Renfroe

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The Red Sox and 28 year old outfielder Hunter Renfroe agreed to a one year, $3.1 million deal on Monday, giving the Sox some much needed depth in the outfield.  Renfroe spent his first four major league seasons with the Padres before playing for Tampa in 2020.  He is a right handed power hitter who has hit .228/.290/.486 with 97 HR in his career.  To better understand the signing, let’s look specifically at 2019 and 2020, and at his fit with the Sox and Fenway Park. 

Photo courtesy of sandiegouniontribune.com

2019 Season

Renfroe slashed .216/.289/.489 with 33 HR and a 98 wRC+ in 2019.  He showed off elite power and great ability to barrel the ball, but was also near the bottom of the league in xBA, K%, and whiff %.  He was decent enough against fastballs and crushed offspeed pitches, but struggled greatly against breaking balls.  The truly interesting thing for Renfroe is his splits: he slashed .239/.331/.575 against LHP with 11 HR.  We see a pretty similar year in 2020 with Tampa, but with greater struggles.  

2020 Season

2020 resulted in a .156/.252/.393 line, 8 HR, and a 76 wRC+ for Renfroe.  Versus lefties only, that line improves to .146/.294/.512 and 116 wRC+ (Also worth noting five of his eight HR were vs LHP).  As his BA would lead you to believe, he struggled against all pitch types and whiffed a ton, much like he had in previous years. 

Fit in Boston 

So what we see in Renfroe on offense is essentially a three outcome guy (HR, K, or BB) who excels against lefty pitchers.  If the Red Sox keep JBJ or sign another outfielder, using Renfroe in a platoon and letting him face mostly LHP should prove very worthwhile.  If Renfroe ends up a starter most days, we will see him strike out a ton once again while providing some power to counter that.  This power could thrive in Fenway as Renfroe’s career spray chart shows the Green Monster will be his friend:


The final perk that comes with Hunter Renfroe is his surprisingly solid defensive ability. He had 22 Defensive Runs Saved and 5 Outs Above Average between 2019 and 2020.  This is a real plus because he may be capable of playing Fenway’s difficult RF if roster construction leads to Verdugo playing CF. 

Overall, Renfroe is a solid add for Boston, especially for such a cheap deal.  We can expect him to be a decent role player and a good lineup plug-in for power without sacrificing defense much.  Personally I’m a fan of the signing and looking forward to Chaim Bloom’s next moves, as the Red Sox obviously still have some major holes to fill. 


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Boston Sports Syndicate: An In-Depth Look at New Red Sox OF Hunter Renfroe
An In-Depth Look at New Red Sox OF Hunter Renfroe
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