Red Sox Traded Travis Shaw, but Signed His Twin in Mitch Moreland

Boston signed a good bounce-back candidate who has a very familiar profile at the plate.

How do you replace David Ortiz? That's simply an impossible task, but the Boston Red Sox filled their vacancy in the lineup by signing Mitch Moreland to a one-year, $5.5 million deal during the craziness that was the Winter Meetings.

Everyone is just assuming that this move was made to make up for Big Papi's retirement, but realistically, Moreland replaces Travis Shaw's production at the plate. As you recall, the Sox sent Shaw packing in order to acquire relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Honestly, though, Moreland and Shaw are pretty much the same hitter. If you don't believe me, take a look at how similar their offensive production has been throughout their respective careers:

Mitch Moreland 2,762 7.6% 21.3% 0.185 0.287 0.254 0.315 0.438 0.325 98
Travis Shaw 778 7.8% 24.4% 0.191 0.300 0.251 0.312 0.442 0.322 97

Player Strengths

Moreland has largely been an inconsistent hitter during his time in the big leagues, but his 2015 campaign showed us what kind of production he could be capable of with the bat:

2015515 23 85 6.20% 21.70% 0.204 0.317 0.278 0.330 0.482 0.348 117 2.3

He possesses a powerful bat, as he's hit 45 home runs and 48 doubles over the past two seasons. The above numbers helped generate a great .204 ISO (Isolated Power), and even though he couldn't repeat that performance in 2015, he still produced an above-average ISO of .189.

What shouldn't go overlooked is his defense -- which is above-average at first base. The 2016 Gold Glove winner saved 7 runs and posted a 6.4 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) for the Texas Rangers.

Batted Ball Profile

The power has been consistent for Moreland during his career, but it's the other facets of hitting that haven't been. Here's what his batted-ball profile looks like over the past couple seasons:

Year Games ISO BABIP FB% LD% HR/FB Soft% Med% Hard%
2015 132 0.204 0.317 34.6% 19.8% 18.3% 14.6% 49.5% 36.0%
2016 147 0.189 0.266 37.4% 21.1% 17.2% 15.2% 48.2% 36.5%

Compared to 2015, the first baseman's 2016 profile doesn't show much of a difference with regard to batted ball analysis, so it's possible he ran into some bad luck. He's a good bounce-back candidate for 2017, especially in a top-performing lineup like the Red Sox.

New Park

Globe Life Park in Arlington is known to be hitter-friendly, with the thin Texas air and lack of foul territory. Fenway Park is also friendly to hitters, but not as much to those stepping into the left-handed batter's box.

Check out his spray chart if he played in Boston:

Moreland is a pull hitter, so Fenway’s 380-foot right-field fence may cost him some home runs. But he does possess power to the opposite field, which he could benefit from by using the Green Monster to his advantage.