Boston Red Sox All-Decade Team
As the book is closed on this decade and we move ahead into the 2020s, this is a time to reflect on the past 10 seasons of the Boston Red Sox. Plenty of great players have made their way through Boston amidst two World Series titles and a decade of baseball. The only rule when constructing this roster will be that each player will only be represented by their best season, and can’t be used more than once. Here are 25 of the best seasons by Boston Red Sox players in the last decade.
Starting Pitcher: Chris Sale (2017)
Although Chris Sale has never won a Cy Young Award, he has consistently been one of the best pitchers in the American League in recent memory, he is undoubtedly the best starting pitcher Boston has seen this decade. Injuries and fatigue have hindered him late in the season, but nonetheless, his 2017 campaign reigns supreme this decade. Sale threw a 2.90 ERA, 0.970 WHIP, and 12.9 K/9 in that season.
Relief Pitcher: Koji Uehara (2013)
Although there wasn’t too much competition in this position, Koji Uehara‘s split-fingered fastball led the Red Sox to their eighth World Series title in 2013. Uehara tossed a 1.09 ERA with an 0.565 WHIP and averaged 12.2 strikeouts/nine innings in 2013.
Catcher: Victor Martinez (2010)
Victor Martinez was inarguably the best catcher to come through Boston this decade. It looked like Christian Vazquez may have been rivaling Martinez in 2019, but got cold in the last couple of months of the season. Martinez hit .302/.351/.493, with 20 home runs in 2010 and secured the best season by a Red Sox catcher in the last 10 seasons.
First Base: Adrian Gonzalez (2011)
First base is another position that the Red Sox have had trouble filling the void following the departure of Kevin Youkilis. Adrian Gonzalez, however, was the only elite first baseman that came through Boston this decade. Despite the fact that Gonzalez played on two of the most disappointing Red Sox teams of all time, he still put up All-Star numbers in 2011. Gonzalez hit .338/.410/.548 with 27 home runs and 117 RBI.
Second Base: Dustin Pedroia (2011)
Dustin Pedroia has been one of the most consistent Red Sox players since he broke onto the scene in the 2007 World Series; making him an easy choice for the second baseman of this team. His best season of the decade came in 2011 when he hit .307/.387/.474 with 21 home runs, 91 RBI, and 26 stolen bases.
Third Base: Adrian Beltre (2010)
Adrian Beltre‘s 2010 season and Rafael Devers‘ 2019 season were as close as two different seasons could’ve got, and either one could’ve deservedly started on this roster. Beltre hit .321/.365/.553 in 2010, while adding 28 home runs and 102 RBI to earn the starting third base job on this team.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (2019)
2019 is the season that the Red Sox unofficially became Xander Bogaerts‘ team. After extending his contract in the offseason, Bogaerts didn’t get complacent and played the best baseball of his career. He was on the outskirts of the MVP discussion for much of the season, and ended the year hitting .309/.384/.555 with 33 home runs and 117 RBI.
Outfield: Jacoby Ellsbury (2011), Mookie Betts (2018), Andrew Benintendi (2018)
Jacoby Ellsbury was as good of an outfielder as you could find in the American League before injuries derailed his career. The height of his success came in 2011. Not only did Ellsbury hit .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs and 105 RBI, but he also hit 46 doubles and stole 39 bags that season.
There were a couple of Mookie Betts‘ seasons that were in the running for this position, but his 2018 MVP season came out on top. Betts hit .346/.438/.640 with 32 home runs that season. Although he only had 80 RBI, that can be put on the fact that he hit leadoff for much of that season.
After Ellsbury and Betts, there was a little bit of a drop off in elite outfield production. Andrew Benintendi‘s 2018 season comes in third in this conversation. Benintendi wasn’t putting up MVP-like numbers as the other two were, but he still hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 home runs in 2018.
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez (2018)
What may have seemed like an easy decision to crown David Ortiz and his 2016 season as the best DH of the decade, it was actually a pretty easy decision in the complete opposite direction. While Ortiz is the most clutch Red Sox player of all time, J.D. Martinez ran away with the best regular season in 2018. Martinez hit .330/.402/.629, with 43 home runs and 130 RBI.
- RF- Mookie Betts (2018)
- 2B- Dustin Pedroia (2011)
- DH- J.D. Martinez (2018)
- 1B- Adrian Gonzalez (2011)
- 3B- Adrian Beltre (2010)
- SS- Xander Bogaerts (2019)
- C- Victor Martinez (2010)
- LF- Andrew Benintendi (2018)
- CF- Jacoby Ellsbury (2011)
- C- Christian Vazquez (2019)
- 1B- Hanley Ramirez (2016)
- 2B- Brock Holt (2018)
- 3B- Rafael Devers (2019)
- OF- Shane Victorino (2013)
- DH- David Ortiz (2016)
- Koji Uehara (2013)
- Daniel Bard (2010)
- Jonathan Papelbon (2011)
- Craig Kimbrel (2017)
- Brandon Workman (2019)
An exercise like this can get be very thought-provoking as to what a team of this stature could achieve. Lucky for the Boston Red Sox is that they’ve reached the pinnacle twice in this decade in 2013 and 2018. Let’s not forget however how miserable some of those teams in the middle were though — specifically the end of 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. It can be tough to tell where the team will stand in 2020, but one can only hope they have the same success they did these past 20 seasons.