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Tank Talks Sox: Mitch Moreland Is on Pace to Hit 144 Doubles

To say new Sox first baseman looks pretty comfortable at the plate is an understatement

David Tanklefsky
April 14, 2017 - 9:50 am

In 1931, Red Sox outfielder Earl Webb set a major league record with 67 doubles. That record has stood for 86 years but it's suddenly and swiftly being thrown into doubt by Red Sox newcomer Mashin' Mitch Moreland (I'm trying it out, relax). Moreland has been blasting two-baggers at the pace with which our president changes foreign policy objectives.

Mashin' Mitch is on pace for 144 doubles. He's snagged two-base bags in seven straight games, a team record, and leads baseball with eight overall. That total is tied for most in Red Sox history through nine games. You know who DIDN'T hit eight doubles in nine games to start a season? Ted Williams. Or Yaz. Or Nomar. Or our recently-retired folk hero David Ortiz. Only Sox third baseman Billy Werber back in 1934 started off the season with as many doubles as Moreland.

In reality, it's still pretty early. Moreland is going to cool off. The likelihood of a 144 double season is...slim. We'd probably settle for, like, 35. But the quickness with which the slugging lefty has taken to battering opposing pitching has got Sox fans feeling pretty good, especially for a guy the team is pretty much taking a one-year, $5 million flyer on. 

Moreland is hitting .324 with a .969 OPS. Three of his doubles have been pulled to right, two have been knocks up the middle and three have been opposite field two-baggers. His line drive percentage, small sample size granted, is close to five points higher than his previous career high and his hard-hit percentage is close to a ridiculous 60%.

Not only is there a lot to enjoy about this dude's production, but there's reason to believe he could hit another gear. As good as he's been in his first week-plus in a Red Sox uniform, Moreland has actually been pretty cold at Fenway Park. He came into the year feasting on pitching at Fenway with a .341 average, four home runs and two doubles in 14 career games. So far this year at home, he's just three for his first 16. Those three hits? Doubles, of course.

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