Red Sox: Top five third basemen in franchise history
By Sean Penney
Bill Mueller only spent three seasons in Boston, but they were the best three years of his career.
The Red Sox signed Mueller as a free agent in 2003. In his first year in Boston, the veteran set career highs in virtually every offensive category. He won a batting title by hitting .326 to go along with a .938 OPS, 19 home runs and 85 RBI. Those numbers earned Mueller a Silver Slugger Award and enough votes to finish 12th on the MVP ballot.
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A year later Mueller put together another solid season, but what cements his status on this list is that he was a starter on arguably the most beloved Red Sox team in franchise history – the curse breaking 2004 World Series champions.
Everyone remembers the Dave Roberts steal in Game 4 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees, but it was Mueller’s base hit up the middle against Mariano Rivera that drove in Roberts to tie the game in the 9th inning, sparking the greatest comeback in postseason history.
Mueller hit .303/.378/.474 during his three seasons in Boston. He doesn’t have the longevity with the franchise to rank higher than 12th at the position in WAR, but his 123 wRC+ is third all-time among Red Sox third basemen.