This 2016 Red Sox season is starting to feel a little like 2013.
The key for the Sox in the 2013 season was a number of different players having career years - including Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. This brings us to this season where a number of Red Sox players are having career years – Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello and Mookie Betts. That isn’t even including David Ortiz, who is having the best season of any 40-year-old to ever play the game.
Here is a look at those three players’ seasons:
Ramirez is batting .292 with 28 home runs and 107 RBIs. He’s really turned it on of late as in the month of September he’s hitting .357, while slugging .771 with nine home runs in 18 games. It’s no coincidence the team has gone on its recent run with Ramirez being so hot. Also, Ramirez has played a solid first base all season long. Many questioned how things would go with him after the disaster in left field last year, but he’s only had a few plays this year that have been worth questioning his defense.
No one saw this coming after his first season in Boston when he went 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA, but now in his second year he is a legitimate candidate for the American League Cy Young. The right-hander is 21-4 with a 3.08 ERA and has actually been the Red Sox’ best and most consistent starter this season – even better than David Price. Even more impressive is that the Red Sox are 11-3 when Porcello starts after a loss. Remarkably, it now seems that Porcello would be the Game 1 playoff starter.
Everyone knew Betts would one day be something special, but maybe not this soon. Betts is serious MVP candidate. The 23-year-old is hitting .318 with 31 home runs and 108 RBIs. He’s been moved from the lead-off spot to clean-up and stayed with his increase in power – not bad for a player who stands just 5-foot-9 and weighs 180 pounds. His .318 average is third-best in the American League and just happens to be second on the Red Sox as Dustin Pedroia is hitting .322. Betts has also played a solid right field and you would never know that until early 2014 he was a second baseman.