Boston Red Sox top 25-man roster in franchise history

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Designated Hitter

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

David Ortiz

Career Stats: .286/.380/.552, 541 HR, 1768 RBI, 17 SB, 50.5 WAR
With Red Sox: .290/.386/.570, 483 HR, 1530 RBI 13 SB, 48.2 WAR

David Ortiz is not only the best designated hitter in franchise history, he has emphatically stated his case for being the best in MLB history (sorry, Edgar Martinez).

Big Papi stamped his ticket to Cooperstown by belting his 500th career home run last year. The 2016 season would be his last, but Ortiz will hang up his cleats sitting in 17th place on the all-time home run list.

As impressive as his regular season numbers are, Ortiz has really made a name for himself with his clutch postseason performances. His 17 home runs are the 7th most in postseason history, while he ranks tied for 4th with his 61 RBI.

Ortiz is responsible for some of the most memorable hits in franchise history, including walk-off home runs to beat the Yankees in extra-innings in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS, as well as a game-tying Grand Slam in the bottom of the 8th against the Tigers in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS that helped even the series. These examples merely scratch the surface of Ortiz’s postseason heroics that have helped lead the Red Sox to three Championships during his tenure in Boston.

Ortiz is a 10-time All-Star with a resume that shows he has led the league in home runs and RBI at least once, including 2006 when he led the league in both. He shockingly has never won an MVP, due in part to the bias against the DH, but he has finished in the top-5 five times.

There were many that assumed Ortiz’s career was winding down years ago when injuries conspired to deprive him of his bat speed, only for a healthy Ortiz to rally back with a late career resurgence. Ortiz belted more homers and drove in more runs this season than any player over the age of 40 has ever tallied in a single season. No hitter has ever walked away from the game following a season even remotely as productive as the final chapter of Ortiz’s storied career, but he’s going out on his terms rather than hanging on too long as so many other legends have done.

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