Red Sox: Top five third basemen in franchise history

May 26, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Former Red Sox player Wade Boggs is honored with the retiring of his uniform number 26 before the start of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Former Red Sox player Wade Boggs is honored with the retiring of his uniform number 26 before the start of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Valentin

Valentin began his career as a shortstop, but moved off of the position in 1997 to make room for the arrival of Nomar Garciaparra. He would end up settling in at third base, where he spent the bulk of his time over the next few seasons.

During that ’97 season, Valentin hit .306 with an .871 OPS and a league-leading 47 doubles.

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Valentin developed into a solid defensive player after making the adjustment to third base, providing value even after his skills at the plate began to diminish. In 1998 he had 21 Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average, which for comparison’s sake, would have equaled the major league lead among third basemen last season.

His career 31.2 fWAR puts Valentin third among Red Sox players that have ever played third base for multiple seasons with the franchise.

Injuries limited Valentin to a mere 30 games over his final two seasons in Boston. He left to join the New York Mets as a free agent in 2002, where he finished out the final season of his career.