Here we are at the part where we look at the players who didn’t make the cut but still deserve some mention. First up is utility man and fan favorite Brock Holt, who spent from 2013 to 2019 with the Red Sox. He did whatever was asked of him and could play any position besides pitcher and catcher.
He was scrappy and fun and while he battled injuries, he’ll forever be remembered for hitting for the only postseason cycle in history during a 16-1 romp of the Yankees in the 2018 ALDS. Andrew Benintendi, his Flow Bro (as they liked to call themselves) opened a lot of eyes when he came up from the minors in the summer of 2016.
He had a very good rookie year in 2017 and a solid 2018 before regressing in 2019. It remains to be seen which direction his career trajectory will take over the next few seasons, but right now it looks like the Red Sox are set in left field for a while. JD Martinez has only spent two seasons in Boston but he’s put up monster numbers as the Red Sox successor to David Ortiz.
Martinez flirted with the Triple Crown in 2018 and had a “down” season in 2019 that would be the envy of just about anyone else in the league. Perhaps just as important, he’s a student and teacher of hitting that has helped his teammates improve their own craft. Rafael Devers is young and has only spent three seasons in Boston, but he seemed to take the next step in 2019 and his bat should be a big presence in the lineup for years to come.
Hanley Ramirez was a top Red Sox prospect when he was traded to the Florida Marlins in 2006 for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, a trade that helped Boston win the 2007 World Series. The Sox brought him back as a free agent in 2015 and converted him into a first baseman since they were all set at shortstop with Xander Bogaerts.
While he wasn’t great defensively and wasn’t the most disciplined hitter, he supplied some pop in the middle of the order, hitting 19, 23, 30, and 6 home runs in his four Red Sox seasons before the team released him early in the 2018 season. Finally, we’ll end with two pitchers. First, David Price who was the big free agent acquisition in 2016 and whose contract was perhaps an overcorrection for letting Jon Lester go.
Price was very good, not great, in his four Boston seasons and exorcised his postseason demons by winning the final game of the 2018 ALCS and two games in the World Series. I and many others feel that he should have been named World Series MVP over Steve Pearce for his efforts. He was eventually thrown in with Mookie Betts in the Red Sox salary dump of February 2020.
Last but not least is Eduardo Rodriguez who has developed from an inconsistent pitcher with great stuff into a guy who went 19-6 in 2019 and should have won 20 games if it weren’t for the atrocious Red Sox bullpen. That was the first season Rodriguez seemed to put everything together while staying healthy. If he can build on that going forward, the Red Sox will have another very good starting pitcher in their rotation for years to come.