Red Sox Position Players
Catcher – Carlton Fisk (1977)
First Base – Jimmie Foxx (1938)
Second Base – Dustin Pedroia (2011)
Third Base – Wade Boggs (1987)
Shortstop – Nomar Garciaparra (1998)
Outfield – Ted Williams (1941)
Outfield – Carl Yastrzemski (1967)
Outfield – Mookie Betts (2018)
Utility – David Ortiz (2005)
Utility – Jacoby Ellsbury (2009)
Fisk was an easy call when seeking offensive production from the catcher position. He hit .315 in 1977 with 26 home runs and 102 RBI.
Foxx held the single-season franchise record with 50 home runs for nearly seven decades. He led the league that year with a whopping 175 RBI, providing dominant production in two categories. The Beast also won a batting title by hitting .349 and he scored 139 runs on his way to winning the MVP.
Bobby Doerr is the best second baseman in franchise history but Pedroia had the more fantasy-friendly production. Pedroia’s MVP campaign in 2008 was probably his best year but I’m taking his 2011 season for fantasy purposes. His .307 average and 102 runs were a bit lower than his MVP year but remain solid. Pedroia set career-highs with 21 homers and 26 steals in 2011. It’s hard to pass on that 20/20 production from a second baseman in fantasy.
Boggs won a batting title with a .363 average in ’87. When you factor in that his 24 home runs marked his only season in a Red Sox uniform that he reached double-digits in that category, plus his career-high 89 RBI, this year was easily his best fantasy season.
There are several great options to choose from in the early years of Garciaparra’s career. His .372 batting average in 2000 stands out but he was subpar by his standards in other categories. I went with his career-high 35 homers and 122 RBI from his ’98 season when he was the runner-up for the MVP. It doesn’t hurt that he swiped 12 bases that year.
1941 fell just shy of being the best season in the career of Ted Williams but it has the most fantasy appeal. Anchoring the lineup with a player who hit .406 should lock up the batting average category for our team. Williams provided strong production in three other categories with 37 home runs, 135 runs scored and 120 RBI.
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We can’t leave out Yaz’s Triple Crown season. While those categories aren’t the best indicators of real-life production, they are vital for fantasy teams. Yaz hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI to capture the MVP. He also added 112 runs and 10 steals for good measure.
Betts produced in all five categories during his MVP season. He won a batting title with a .346 average to complement a category our team is already dominant in. Mookie is the only 30/30 player on our team with his 32 homers and 30 steals. Other outfielders produced significantly more in the power categories but many of them come at a cost in batting average and provide little in the stolen base department.
It was tempting to go with Ortiz’s 2006 season when he set the franchise record with 54 home runs. We already have a dominant batting average team so it wouldn’t hurt to add one bat that failed to hit the .300 mark (although Big Papi’s .287 average was nothing to scoff at). Ortiz still provides plenty of home run power in 2005 with his 47 homers and he had an edge in the runs and RBI categories that year.
Ellsbury isn’t one of the best players in franchise history and 2009 isn’t even his best season, which was obviously 2011 when he should have won the MVP. However, our roster has a serious need for speed with only two players providing 20+ steals. Ellsbury’s franchise record 70 steals in ’09 helps us compete in a difficult category. While some stolen base threats are one-trick ponies, Ellsbury was solid in batting average and runs scored from the top of the lineup.