Since 2000, the Red Sox have lead baseball in pitches per plate appearence 6 times. And they have had their share of success offensively during that time. The Oakland A's have lead baseball in PPA 4 times during the same stretch. The A's made the playoffs "ALL" 4 seasons, including last year when they lead baseball at 3.98 PPA. The only team I can find to best that number was Boston in 2010 at 4.02. Not sure if 4.02 is the all time record, but it might be.
Here are the likely top 11 Red Sox hitters in PPA from last year...
If they all get the same amount of at bats, that would be an average PPA of 4.04. And if Papi and Pedey decide to revert to their patience of 2010 of 4.33 and 4.37, the numbers jump to 4.12. Add in Mauro Gomez[4.05] and Lavarnway[4.07]. And although Kalish's numbers last year stunk[3.61], he was great when healthy in 2010[4.16]. Only Ciriaco[3.47] and Iglesias[3.48] are weak links. But they might not play much at all.
Taking pitches is going to wear on our opponents pitching staffs. With no easy outs 1-9. It isn't just getting starters out early and wearing out bullpens. Its also psychological . Pitchers will know coming in they are in for a long day. One long at bat can screw a pitcher up. One long inning can screw a pitcher up.
I think adding Napoli, Ross, and Drew are no coincidence. This seems to be a strategy. And a winning one at that. This teams offense is going to be much better then people think.