Top 5 Most Surprising 2013 Boston Red Sox Players
Top 5 2013 Boston Red Sox Surprises
The 2013 Boston Red Sox have been one of the surprise teams for the 2013 MLB season with 71 wins currently, more than they had all of last season. They have shown after the break that they are absolutely no fluke and are still very much hanging in there. After last year, anything would be an improvement.
No one predicted them to even contend this season, let alone be in first place since April. Every team that has a year similar to the one that the Red Sox have had seems to have players that have surprising seasons, and are very much of the reasons why the team does so well. The Red Sox are no exception. There were many candidates for this list. Felix Doubront was considered, but we only saw glimpses of what he could do last year. Mike Carp was also considered. Andrew Miller was actually on this list, but I couldn't justify having him there when he has been injured and is out for the season. If Jose Igleasis hadn't been traded, he would have been on this list for his offense. There are quite a few other players such as Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz who have been huge reasons for this team's success, but you expect them to do really well. No, these are the players of whom very little was expected for this season. Even if you knew they were good, there was no way they would be this good. Let's get the list started.
5. Shane Victorino
Let's start with Shane Victorino. He has been playing for a while now, but it takes watching him every day to appreciate how good he really is. He is a spark at the top of the lineup, he steals bases, and he basically does everything you thought Carl Crawford would do when he was here. Most importantly, he plays the best right field since Dwight Evans.
4. Daniel Nava
Next up is Daniel Nava. This was a player that wasn't even on the 40 man roster two years ago. He was slightly more than a bench player last year. Now, he has become an integral part of the lineup and is currently hitting .289 with 10 home runs and 54 runs batted in. He has played some first base for the first time this year and looks like a natural. He has also improved his defense in the outfield significantly. He has had some huge clutch hits this year, particularly his walk-off single on Aug. 1, where Boston scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth.
3. Drake Britton
Drake Britton started the season in the lower minor leagues and was only in Pawtucket very briefly. He has simply been dominating out of the bullpen, not giving up a run in his seven appearances, spanning nine innings of work. His poise and maturity have been incredible and he is a very nice replacement for Miller. You can never have enough lefties.
2. Koji Uehara
Coming in at No. 2 is Koji Uehara. He was originally considered to be bullpen depth, and became the main setup man almost right away and was incredible at that role. However, with season-ending injuries to closers Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, Uehara was thrust in that role. To put it simply, he has been an absolute force at the end of the bullpen. Boston was considering getting a closer before the deadline, but Uehara has been so good that there was no need. He has a 1.35 ERA and has stuck out 75 batters while walking nine. Come on, we knew he was good -- but this good?
1. John Lackey
Without question, the biggest surprise this season from the Red Sox would have to be John Lackey. You sort of knew when he came to spring training and looked like a different guy physically that he was a man on a mission. However, no one could predict how dominant he has been for most of the season, including having a couple of games with double-digit strikeouts. He has basically filled the role of an ace since Clay Buchholz has been injured. Boston fans are finally seeing why he was worth the contract he signed. It's been a year of redemption for Lackey, and it has been great to see. Hopefully, these five players will help carry Boston deep into the postseason.
Carter Roane is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com Follow him on Twitter@CarterGRoane, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.