Health has always been a problem for Mike Napoli. Last year was no different. Coming off a World Series win in 2013, Napoli was on pace to replicate 2013s statistics after starting hot right out of the gate, even when the Sox weren't. A dislocated finger, toe problems, back problems, you name it, Napoli was just not healthy at any point on 2014.
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An important piece for 2013, Napoli hit 23 homerun's and drove in 92 RBI as the Sox cleanup hitter. The RBI total being the highest of his career. Last season, the power hitting first baseman player in 117 games, 110 of them at first, seven as a DH, hitting a paltry .248 with 17 homerun's and 55 RBI. Obviously not stats that the Sox need from Napoli going forward nor do I think they will actually be that way thus upcoming season.
I myself, was a HUGE fan of the Napoli signing to Boston and still a big fan of it. He fits the description of a Red Sox player. Willing to do what he could to help this team, the full time catcher became a gold glove caliber first baseman. His defense plays a huge part when the Sox are successful. He changed his approach at the plate, becoming more disciplined and taking more pitches, choking up with two strike. Stuff you don't normally see in the box score. His bat behind David Ortiz proved to be plenty insurance his first year in Beantown. But now with more meat and protection in the Sox lineup with the additions of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and a full year now of Mookie Betts, Napoli is in line to have a monster year for the local nine. If he can prove to be healthy this year, it could loom large in the form of many career highs.
Did anyone see his last homerun in spring training? I think it actually just landed. An absolute shot. And that's exactly what I think he's going to being to the table thinks year. An extremely healthy spring training. A surgery to help with sleep apnea keeps him better rested then he's ever been in adulthood, I fully expect a very big year out of number 12 and I expect him to be smack dab in the middle of the teams success this year, health pending.