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Getting to Know The New Red Sox

new Red Sox first basemen Mitch Moreland

Meet the New Red Sox

By now, you probably know all there is to know about new Red Sox ace Chris Sale. But what about the other new additions to the Boston roster?

Mitch Moreland – 1B

Signed as a free agent from the Texas Rangers on December 8th last year to a one-year $5.5 million deal. The 31-year-old Moreland coming off a season where his average dipped from .278 in 2015 to .233 last year. He’s a career .254 hitter – but he’s a plus defender with some pretty good pop. Even in his down year last year, he still connected for 22 home runs. He’s a career .314 hitter in 14 career games at Fenway.

It seems likely that he’ll sit against left-handed pitchers. He’s not going to replace David Ortiz – no one would. But if he hit .260 with 25 homers and 80 RBI, the Red Sox would have to be satisfied with that. Moreland is a plus defender, having won a Gold Glove at first base last year.

He was originally a 17th round pick out of Mississippi State in 2007. Moreland’s got quite the history on the mound as well. At Amory High School in Mississippi, he went 25-2 as a pitcher. He was also struck out 45 batters in 32 innings on the bump at Mississippi State. He pitched an inning of relief for the Rangers against the Rockies in 2014.

Moreland credits his work ethic to his father, Charles, who was his coach for much of his youth, and an oil rig worker in the Gulf of Mexico.

He’s married to the former Susannah Higgins (the 2016 Mrs. Alabama America), with a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. Susannah has a master’s degree in education, and has worked as a second-grade teacher.

Steve Selsky, OF

The Red Sox claimed “Stone Cold” Steve Selsky off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on January 25th. He’s only played 24 career games at the big league level, but he did hit .314 in that stretch last year.

Drafted in the 33rd round of the 2011 drafted out of Arizona, Selsky was the star of spring training for the Red Sox. He hit .356 batting. He slugged .689 slugging percentage and hit four home runs with 12 RBIs. Granted, spring training is spring training, but it was enough to garner him the 25th spot on the roster. He still figures to spend a lot of time on I-95 between Pawtucket and Boston this year.

In his brief time in the bigs last year, he did collect a 5-hit-game against the Cardinals.

Selsky hails from a family of athletes. His dad Steve, was a minor league first basemen in the White Sox organization in the early 60’s. His mother, Lou Ann Terheggen Selsky was a volleyball player who won a national championship at Long Beach State, and played on the US national team. Sisters Stesha and Samantha both played volleyball in college. Selsky’s wife Brittany played soccer at Arizona.

Ben Taylor, RHP

Probably the most surprising of the new Red Sox is 24-year-old high-handed reliever Ben Taylor.

Taylor was a Red Sox 7th round pick out of South Alabama in the 2015 draft – no, he’s not the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. The Red Sox Ben Taylor has only pitched in 50 professional games, and none of those have come above the AA level. But he’s been remarkably consistent in each of his stops, posting a career ERA of 3.49. SoxProspects.com had Taylor rated as the club’s 22nd-rated prospect going into 2017. They note that his fastball can get up to 95 mph, that he’s got good control, but that his secondary pitches could hold him back.

It was his 3.46 ERA with 19 strikeouts against only three walks in 13 innings that garnered him a roster spot to start the year (in addition to Carson Smith, Tyler Thornberg and Roenis Elias starting the season on the DL.)

Talyor is married to a copywriter, Chancelee.

 

 

 

 

Moreland Photo by Keith Allison


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Mike Cooney
Mike is a lifelong Boston sports fan. He's got a degree in journalism from Northeastern University, and has been writing about sports in various methods since the mid-1990's. He's gotten to meet Bobby Orr, Luis Tiant, Rich Gedman, Nomar Garciaparra, and once shut out Carlos Pena's two twin brothers in a game of foosball at McCoy Stadium.
http://mikecooney.net
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