Carl Crawford’s position in the batting order has been a topic for discussion since the day he signed his 7-year $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox after the 2010 season. With the Tampa Bay Rays (née Devil) Crawford hit leadoff 30% of the time, 2nd 48%, and 3rd 16%. If he is comfortable to hitting at the top of the order and has had success there then why did he hit from there in only 19 games last season? The answer is simple. There are five hitters on the Red Sox that are better than he is.
Adrian Gonzalez .940
Kevin Youkilis .922
David Ortiz .881
Dustin Pedroia .844
Jacoby Ellsbury .830
Carl Crawford .793
If the Red Sox hit Carl Crawford at the top of the batting order they are taking plate appearances away from better hitters. If the Red Sox decide to hit Crawford 2nd, where he has spent the most time in his career, they will be giving him around 70 more plate appearances than if he hit 6th. What has he done to earn 70 more plate appearance than players like Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis? Nothing.
Back to the title of the blog; where should Carl Crawford hit in the batting order? That answer is also simple. He should be hitting 2nd for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was never a good fit for the Red Sox. The signing went against their baseball philosophy and there wasn’t a spot for him on the team. But he is untradeable right now so the Red Sox are stuck with him. Crawford should hit 6th this season. The situation can then be reevaluated going into 2013. With Youkilis and Ellsbury unsigned past next season, the situation may solve itself.