Red Sox: Top-5 left fielders in franchise history

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Mike Greenwell

When Greenwell broke into the league he had the unfortunate task of following in the footsteps of the trio of Hall of Famers that preceded him at the position. While he wouldn’t reach the lofty heights of those that came before him, Greenwell still had a very good career by most standards.

In his first full season in the big leagues, Greenwell would finish fourth in the Rookie of the Year race behind a .328 average and .956 OPS. He would actually never top those numbers in any season for the rest of his career, but would improve in many other categories along the way.

His sophomore campaign in 1988 resulted in a second place finish on the AL MVP ballot. Greenwell hit .325/.416/.531 with a career-high 22 home runs and 119 RBI, only to finish behind Jose Canseco for the award. The MVP race that year remains a controversial decision given Canseco’s now well publicized association with performance enhancing drugs.

He was robbed of an MVP that year, but Greenwell did earn the first of two consecutive All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger.

Greenwell also holds a rather distinct place in major league history. On September 2, 1996, he drove in nine runs in a 9-8 victory over the Seattle Mariners to set a record for the most runs batted in by a player that accounted for all of his team’s RBI’s.

Over his 12 year career, all of which was spent in Boston, Greenwell hit .303/.368/.463 with 130 home runs. He also ranks fifth at the position in Red Sox history with 25.7 WAR, per FanGraphs.