New Zealand Fan wrote:JT Snow, Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp are down grades.
Well, the likely starter is Kevin Youkilis, not J.T. Snow. Last year, Red Sox firstbasemen put up the line .279/.358/.436. Between the majors and AAA, Youkilis put up the lines .278/.400/.405 (79 AB) and .322/.459/.592 (152 AB) (unfortunately, not a large number of at-bats at either level, but Youkilis' ability to get on-base has been with him through much of his career). The 2006 ZiPS projection for Youkilis is .268/.400/.417. Though he's not a clear upgrade, I would expect him to outperform last year's 1B production (which isn't saying terribly much).
Lowell will most likely be a downgrade from the 2005 Mueller; however Crisp will probably be as good or better than Damon. Even in 2005, OPS+ has Crisp as a better hitter than Damon (119 to 113, in fact Damon has never had an OPS+ higher than 117). Here's last year's line for Damon, side by side with Crisp's 2006 ZiPS projection:
Damon (2005): .316/.366/.439
Crisp (2006 ZiPS): .321/.370/.466