As it is currently constituted the Red Sox are 19-13 on May 10th. If somebody told me that in March and then added the fact David Price had a 6.75 ERA at the same time, I would have thought they were nuts. However, that is the case. This Red Sox team is phenomenal to watch, and they have been lead by white hot bats and some solid pitching from some unlikely heroes. Here are the top five biggest surprises for the Red Sox season thus far.
5. Dustin Pedroia: After playing in only 93 games in 2015, many, including myself, thought that Dustin Pedroia was on the decline as he headed into his 11th major league season. Nevertheless, now Pedroia is hitting .304, with five home runs, 17 RBI’s, and a .478 slugging percentage. To the casual Red Sox fan, this should not come as a surprise. Although, to someone that has watched a solid amount of baseball over the past year it looked as if his best days were behind him.
4. David Ortiz: “Big Papi” hitting the cover off the ball is never a surprise, but when he is in his supposed final season and he is raking more than ever it comes as a bit of an eyebrow raiser. Ortiz has been a 30 home run, 100 RBI guy in each of the last three seasons. This season, he is on pace for 48 home runs, with 157 RBI’s. That more than likely will no come to fruition, but still Ortiz looks as good as ever. You would have thought that his announcement to retire at the end of this season would lead to him taking a step back in 2016. Not the case at all, especially after the fire he showed on Friday night in the Bronx.
3. Hanley Ramirez: This surprise doesn’t come as an all-around surprise, but mostly just on defense. The move by John Farrell to move Hanley from left field to first base was one that was expected to be a monumental failure. Now we are 32 games in and Hanley has exactly zero errors in the field. He is not putting the ball on Landsdowne Street like he was last April (13 home runs) but he is still efficient at the plate hitting .286, with three home runs, and 17 RBI’s.
2. Jackie Bradley Jr.: After Bradley came out of his 2013 spring training hot streak and immediately became a bust after the next two seasons, the entire Boston baseball media contingent wrote him off. This season Bradley has come back in full force looking like that phoneme that he was expected to be. He is hitting .303, with 21 RBI’s, and a shocking four homers. He has made the bottom of the Red Sox order one to be reckoned with.
1. Steven Wright: Absolutely nobody saw this one coming. During spring training everyone said the Red Sox would be fine every five days when David Price was on the mound, and then the other days their rotation would be sporadic, and that surely included Steven Wright. The knuckleballer is 3-3 on the season, but has an outstanding 1.52 ERA. His season was highlighted by a dominating game in New York this past Sunday when he pitched complete game, three hitter, with one earned run.