Bits: Stephen Drew debuts for Red Sox 

April, 11, 2013
4/11/13
11:17
AM ET
Once upon a recent time, Stephen Drew was one of the better shortstops in baseball. From 2007-10, he averaged 15 home runs, 63 RBIs and 7 steals for the Arizona Diamondbacks, annually teasing fantasy owners with the prospect of really significant numbers, but still being valuable enough for mixed-league ownership. Since then, Drew hasn't played much or very well. But he made his 2013 debut with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, and I'm certainly intrigued enough to consider him a potential addition in a 10-team league at some point soon.

Drew, currently owned in a bit more than 4 percent of ESPN standard leagues, went hitless in four aggressive at-bats (only nine pitches) while hitting eighth against Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta and his pals. Now 30 and apparently free of the concussion symptoms that dogged him this spring and ankle problems stemming from the gruesome home plate incident of mid-2011, it's reasonable to think a healthy Drew can produce his "old numbers," though his health is tougher to predict. Certainly heading to the American League and a home ballpark such as Fenway seems conducive enough for a rebound to relevance. There's debate about demoting/sitting Jose Iglesias, an exceptional fielder, but trust me, that .450 batting average of his might have been cut in half with 500 at-bats. Drew is better.

[+] EnlargeStephen Drew
J. Meric/Getty ImagesStephen Drew made his Red Sox debut Wednesday.
One would think Drew is already owned in all AL-only formats, but what it will take for him to become a mixed-league consideration? Well, a 15-homer, 60-RBI, 7-steal shortstop seems compelling enough to me. Last September is a small sample, but Drew hit .263 for the Oakland Athletics with five home runs and 14 RBIs, giving hope for his future. The Orioles' J.J. Hardy, Athletics' Jed Lowrie and Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez are each 100 percent owned. If Drew delivered the numbers he used to average, he'd be worthy of full ownership, especially compared to that crew. Hardy might whack 25 homers, but he won't run. Lowrie is off to a terrific start, but he has never posted a 15-homer, 60-RBI season as Drew has, he doesn't steal bases, and he has never even batted 400 times in a season. The durable, consistent Ramirez I certainly like better, but a healthy, productive Drew will rise on the most-added list quickly, so keep an eye out.