Red Sox trio accomplish milestone never before seen in franchise history
By Sean Penney
J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts combined to accomplish something no Boston Red Sox trio had ever done in a single season.
The Boston Red Sox fell well short of expectations in the standings but that doesn’t mean 2019 was a complete bust. There are several players worthy of recognition for their accomplishments, including a trio of hitters who combined to make history.
The Red Sox lineup featured three hitters with a batting average above .300 and 30+ home runs.
J.D. Martinez – .304 AVG, 36 HR
Xander Bogaerts – .309 AVG, 33 HR
Rafael Devers – .311 AVG, 32 HR
It’s the first time in franchise history that three players reached those totals in the same season and the Red Sox are only the 10th major league team to ever do it.
The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals were the last team to boast three players with a .300 average and 30 homers. That lineup featured Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. You may recall that Cardinals team came up short in the World Series, snapping an 86-year title drought for the Red Sox.
Devers led the team in batting average this season. He finished tied for fourth in average and second in hits (201) in the American League. The 22-year old is the youngest Red Sox player to ever record a 200-hit season.
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Devers added 129 runs scored and 115 RBI to his 32 homers and .311 batting average. He’s the 10th player in major league history to hit at least .300 with 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in a single season before the age of 23. Devers joins Ted Williams as the only Red Sox players on the list.
His breakout season also saw Devers lead the league with 90 extra-base hits and 54 doubles. Bogaerts was right behind him, finishing second with 85 extra-base hits and 52 doubles. They are the first teammates in MLB history with 30+ homers and 50+ doubles in the same season.
Xander’s 52 doubles trail only the 56 tallied by Nomar Garciaparra in 2002 for the most in a season by a Red Sox shortstop.
Martinez led the club with 36 home runs, tied for seventh in the AL. He’s the ninth hitter in franchise history with consecutive seasons hitting 35+ home runs and 100+ RBI.
Martinez is the 20th hitter in MLB history with three consecutive seasons producing a .300+ batting average, 35+ home runs, and 100+ RBI. Pujols was the last major league hitter to do so three years in a row (2008-2010).
These accomplishments were the silver lining of a disappointing campaign. Does it make up for missing the postseason? No, but even after Boston fell out of the playoff race, this trio captured our attention by chasing history. They gave us a reason to watch even when the games became meaningless in the standings.
More importantly, they’ll draw us back next year. This team had its flaws in 2019 but when you have this type of talent in your lineup, there’s always a chance to win.