Top 5 Boston infielders over the past 20 years
Top 5 Red Sox Infielders Since 2000
5. Mike Lowell
The shortest-tenured player on this list, Mike Lowell landed in Boston as part of the Josh Beckett trade with the (then) Florida Marlins. Let’s not forget Lowell was seen as part of a salary dump for the Marlins as the 31-year-old third baseman was coming off his worst season for The Fish. Fast forward to 2007, in his second season with the BoSox, and Lowell put together his fourth All-Star season. In that year, he set a single-season franchise record for most RBIs by a third baseman. Oh, and he won the 2007 World Series MVP as well.
4. Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts is the only player included in this list who is still playing in the league. In the Red Sox system since he was 17, his professional career includes four Silver Slugger awards and three All-Star appearances. While it’s been debated how good (bad?) Bogaerts is defensively, his offensive contributions can’t be understated. His .291 career batting average ranks 14th among active players and although it’s incredibly early in the 2022 season, Bogaerts has a BA of .344 at the time of this writing. With the rough start Boston is off to, it may be a good thing Massachusetts sports betting bonus offers aren’t currently available.
3. Kevin Youkilis
In the six seasons Kevin Youkilis played more than 100 games for Boston, he would come out with a Gold Glove Award, three All-Star nods, and a Hank Aaron Award. In 2008, he would go 120 straight games without committing an error at first base, breaking a Red Sox record that had been intact since 1921. Of the “Boston-grown” players on the list, Youk was drafted the latest by far, in the 8th round. His claim to Red Sox franchise all-time fame? Youkilis leads Boston in the number of pitches he’s been hit by. The 86 pitches that have hit Youk are 15 more than second place Mo Vaughn. The dude also had one of the most unique batting stances of all time which needs to be mentioned.
2. Nomar Garciaparra
While this may be slightly cheating, Nomar Garciaparra still put together three All-Star seasons for Beantown in the 2000s. “No Nonsense Nomar” earned the heart of Red Sox Nation back in 1997, though, when he received AL Rookie of the Year, a Silver Slugger, and All-Star honors. Currently, Garciappara’s .323 batting average is good enough for fourth all-time in the team’s history. Ahead of him are names you just might recognize - Ted Williams (.344), Wade Boggs (.338), and Tris Speaker (.337).
Pedroia gets the top spot for me here. First off, he was with Boston from beginning to end - from the Augusta GreenJackets, to the PawSox, to eventually spending 14 years in Beantown. During that time, Pedroia won AL Rookie of the Year, 2018 AL MVP, four Gold Glove awards, four All-Stars, two World Series wins, and a Silver Slugger award.
Here’s where Pedrioa ranks all-time in Red Sox history across a handful of statistics:
Defensive WAR: 2nd (15.5)
Doubles: 6th (394)
Stolen Base %: Tied 7th (75.0)
Hits: 8th (1805)
Total Bases: 8th (2649)
Offensive WAR: 9th (41.4)
Runs Scored: 10th (922)
Up-And-Coming Red Sox Infielders
While Boston is no stranger to spending up - as they’ve been top 3 in Opening Day Payroll 17 times since 2000 - its farm system has been improving in recent years. In fact, both MLB.com and CBS Sports have two Red Sox infield prospects ranked in their top 20. Shortstop Marcelo Mayer and first baseman Triston Casas. Mayer isn’t expected to be called up to the big leagues until 2024, but Casas is likely to make his Beantown debut this season. With the rocky start to Boston’s 2022 season, combined with the lack of production at first base, many of the Fenway faithful have been calling on the organition to bring Casas up sooner rather than later.
A little further down MLB.com’s Top-100 prospect list is another Red Sox infielder - Nick Yorke. Currently ranked 53rd, Yorke is a second baseman for High-A Greenville Drive, and could potentially be playing in Boston as early as the 2023 season.