Fenway Park has enjoyed a steady stream of superstars over the last 110 years, and it looks like this season is no exception.
MLB.com revealed its list of the top-100 players in baseball on Friday, and four Red Sox players made the cut.
Here’s a look at each Sox player featured and what to expect from them in the fast-approaching 2022 season:
No. 22 — 3B Rafael Devers
Since stepping into the hot corner for one of America’s most scrutinized teams, Devers has shown maturity beyond his years and quickly evolved into one of baseball’s best third basemen. Devers dominated the league during his second full season in 2019, legging out a league-high 54 doubles while batting a searing .311. The Dominican cooled off during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, but reemerged in 2021 to cement his place as one of MLB’s elite players.
Devers launched a career-high 38 home runs last season, earning his first All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger award and an 11th-place finish in MVP voting. The slugger has continued to impress through spring training this year, with a .450 batting average in 24 plate appearances.
Question marks linger around Devers’ defense, however, as he led all third basemen with 22 errors last season and posted poor defensive metrics with -13 outs above average and a -3.6 defensive wins above replacement.
No. 23 — SS Xander Bogaerts
Neighbors on the list and on the diamond, Bogaerts pairs with Devers as the Sox’s dynamic duo on the left side of the infield. Bogaerts put it together in his second full season in 2015, hitting .320 to claim a Silver Slugger Award and finish second in the American League batting title race.
Bogaerts has never struggled with contact, boasting a career .290 batting average, but his power has come along nicely through eight seasons with the Sox. The slugger out of Aruba averaged just 12.5 home runs during his first four campaigns, with a .410 slugging percentage during that stretch, more than 25 points below the league average.
In his last three full seasons, Bogaerts has averaged 26.3 home runs and a much-improved .523 slugging percentage. This improved power hitting has earned Bogaerts three All-Star selections, a fifth-place MVP finish in 2019 and an undisputed standing among the league’s best players.
No. 69 — 2B Trevor Story
Boston’s talented infield continues to be celebrated, as second baseman Trevor Story was next up on the list. Story arrived in Massachusetts this offseason, surely a welcomed change of pace after two seasons of declining performances in Colorado.
Story emerged as one of MLB’s brightest stars with the Rockies, slugging .567 during his third season in the league. The middle infielder remained elite in 2019, enjoying marginal improvements in batting average and on-base percentage. The pandemic season saw Story take a slight step back, with his slugging percentage slipping to .519, and the LSU product mightily struggled in 2021 with a .251 batting average.
Story ranked 16th in the 2021 rankings, and the Red Sox will hope to capture his elite form this season.
No. 79 — DH/OF JD Martinez
Boston has been by far the most successful stop in Martinez’s career, playing for four clubs since entering the league in 2011. During his first season in Boston in 2018, Martinez finished second in the league in batting average, hitting .330 and corking 43 home runs.
And while Martinez hasn’t quite reached those heights since, he’s earned an All-Star nomination each of his three full seasons with Boston and earned a top-100 selection by MLB.com the last four years.
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