MLB Boston Red Sox

5 Biggest Surprises for Boston Red Sox Midway Through 2014

Boston Red Sox' 5 Biggest Surprises at Midway Point

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The saying goes that you can't predict baseball. That old adage has been all too evident for the 2014 Boston Red Sox, as the first half of the season has proven to be anything but predictable. Going 37-44 through 81 games -- maybe the biggest surprise from the defending champs -- there have been developments that few saw coming. Here are the five biggest surprises from the first half of the 2014 season.

5. Clay Buchholz

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

5. Clay Buchholz

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Giving Boston a strong start in the Game 4 of the 2013 World Series despite not being close to 100 percent, it looked like Buchholz had cleared the mental hurdle that has held him back at times during his eight-year career. He looked like he trusted his body and trusted his stuff. But it's been back to square one in 2014, as Buchholz has looked lost on the mound at 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 11 starts, while spending a month on the disabled list.

4. Emergence of Young Pitchers

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

4. Emergence of Young Pitchers

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The performance of Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa, who have combined to make 11 starts, going an aggregate 3-3 with a 3.07 ERA, has shown the wealth of young, talented arms the Red Sox have in 2014. The two have stabilized back of the Red Sox' rotation after Buchholz and Felix Doubront struggled in the early weeks of the season.

3. Jackie Bradley

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jackie Bradley

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley is a surprise not because of his hitting -- which has been a surprise in itself based off how bad its been -- but because of his defense. The 24-year-old rookie has been one of the best center fielders in the majors in 2014, among the top three or four in virtually every category for defensive center fielders. His nine assists leads all major leaguers at the position.

2. The Offensive Struggles

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Offensive Struggles

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to envision a Red Sox offense being this bad, but they've been that bad in 2014. The Sox are in the basement of the American League in runs scored (311) and are near the bottom of the league in virtually every offensive category. It's the biggest reason the team is under .500 this late for the first time since 1997.

1. Brock Holt

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Brock Holt

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

This is a no-brainer No. 1. Nobody saw this one coming. Holt not only managed to be an everyday piece of the lineup but one of the featured pieces. He's played five different positions just to stay in the lineup and has been one of the game's best leadoff hitters in 37 games of hitting atop the order. Since being slotted first in the order on May 23, Holt is hitting .318/.361/.452 (50-for-157) with 26 extra base hits, 12 RBIs and 24 runs scored.