Third Base – Kevin Youkilis
The hot corner is a tough position to find a favorite. Wade Boggs was the best third baseman the Red Sox have had in my lifetime but I’m not quite old enough to remember his peak and he was wearing Yankees pinstripes by the time I started following the game. Adrian Beltre had one great year in Boston but his tenure was short-lived. Mike Lowell warrants consideration for his role in bringing a title to Boston as the 2007 World Series MVP but he also wasn’t here for very long.
Instead, I’ll go with the consistency of Kevin Youkilis. He split time at both corner infield spots and briefly saw time in the outfield. While he technically spent the majority of his career at first base, Youk logged more games at third than the aforementioned short-tenured players in consideration.
The Greek God of Walks lived up to his nickname with a strong .388 OBP during his nine years with the Red Sox.
Youkilis was a seldom-used infielder for the 2004 club that ended the 86-year title drought but he was a key cog in the lineup by the time the Red Sox captured their next title in 2007. He shined in the ALCS that year, hitting .500 with three home runs in the series against the Indians.
In 2008, Youk set career-highs with a .312 average, 168 hits, 43 doubles, 29 home runs and 115 RBI to finish third in the MVP race.
He had a short window of only about four years as a star player but Youk was at least a solid contributor for the first eight years of his career. His production fell off a cliff at the age of 33 and he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2012. Youkilis retired after a brief injury-plagued stint with the Yankees the following year.