Red Sox vs the AL East: designated hitters

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Sep 16, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce (28) hits a three-run home run in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

2. Steve Pearce, Orioles

Pearce came out of nowhere to have a phenomenal showing with the Orioles last season. He played all over the diamond and hit an astounding .293/.373/.556 with 21 home runs in 102 games, posting a ridiculous 4.9 WAR in that short timeframe. However, as a 31-year old journeyman who has never before even approached that level of success, there should be some skepticism around his 2015 projections. Also, some of Pearce’s value last season came from his utility and ability to play corner outfield and corner infield positions, and that versatility could be somewhat limited in a more defined role. And who knows? Maybe Pearce really has turned a corner in his career and will begin a chapter of elite offense despite his age indicating he’s past his prime. More likely, though, Pearce regresses to the mean and while he should still be a solid– perhaps even excellent– offensive player for the Orioles, he likely won’t repeat last season’s success.