Most surprising Red Sox player of 2023 -- No. 3: Chris Martin
Let's be honest with ourselves: the less said about the 2023 Red Sox pitching staff, the better. There were rare occasions this season where Red Sox pitching instilled me with any sort of confidence, but I will say that there was one man who did instill me with some confidence: a 37-year-old righty who decided to have a career year with this Red Sox team.
I'd be lying if I said that I knew who Chris Martin even was before the season (turns out, he's different than the Coldplay guy). However, after his performance this year, I'm willing to be the conductor on the Chris Martin Hype Train. In 54 games this year, Martin had an ERA of 1.07, allowing only six earned runs through the whole season.
He also threw 46 strikeouts to only eight walks, compiled an ERA+ of 428, and was able to avoid hard contact from batters that he faced, holding one of the lowest average exit velocities from opposing batters in the league. Hopefully, Martin can keep his form up going into next season, because having a reliable arm like his at the back end of the bullpen is extremely valuable for any team, let alone a team that dealt with tons of close games.