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25 Years of Red Sox: SS

Moving along the diamond we come to the men of the gloves. The Sox did quite well for themselves in the 90s/early 2000's until they traded away Nomar......then along with a World Series we received the gift that kept on giving - the revolving door. Renteria - Gonzalez - Lugo - Scutaro - Aviles - Drew.....Hopefully that trend ends with an X.

One small edit: I'm limited my lists to those with 30 or more games played rather than 20.

25 Years of Red Sox: SS

YEAR NAME G wOBA wRC+ DEF WAR CWAR
1988 Jody Reed 94 0.347 114 13.8 3.4
Spike Owen 76 0.317 95 1.1 0.9 0.9
1989 Luis Rivera 90 0.301 84 2.6 0.7
Jody Reed 77 0.353 118 -3.1 3.1
1990 Luis Rivera 112 0.283 69 -5.3 -0.7
Jody Reed 50 0.346 112 -3.6 2.8 9.3
1991 Luis Rivera 129 0.317 90 6.8 1.6
1992 Luis Rivera 93 0.260 53 5.3 -0.3 1.3
John Valentin 58 0.354 116 -3.0 0.9
1993 John Valentin 144 0.350 109 29.5 5.2
1994 John Valentin 83 0.394 130 15.3 4.1
Carlos Rodriguez 32 0.322 84 -1.3 0.1 0.1
1995 John Valentin 135 0.405 138 30.4 8.2
1996 John Valentin 118 0.360 106 4.4 2.8 21.2
1997 Nomar Garciaparra 153 0.374 122 18.3 6.4
1998 Nomar Garciaparra 143 0.402 139 18.7 7.3
1999 Nomar Garciaparra 134 0.434 157 0.2 6.3
2000 Nomar Garciaparra 136 0.432 154 15.0 7.6
2001 Mike Lansing 76 0.293 74 -2.4 -0.3 -0.3
Lou Merloni 45 0.305 82 3.8 0.5 0.5
2002 Nomar Garciaparra 154 0.373 127 -1.7 4.8
2003 Nomar Garciaparra 156 0.369 124 7.2 5.7
2004 Orlando Cabrera 58 0.332 97 0.9 0.7 0.7
Nomar Garciaparra 37 0.369 121 -6.3 0.5 38.6
2005 Edgar Renteria 153 0.319 90 -1.9 1.7 1.7
2006 Alex Gonzalez 111 0.300 73 14.6 1.3
Alex Cora 63 0.277 58 2.9 0.0
2007 Julio Lugo 145 0.286 66 5.7 0.6
Alex Cora 33 0.297 73 4.3 0.5
2008 Julio Lugo 81 0.315 85 1.9 0.7
Alex Cora 69 0.329 95 0.3 0.5 1.0
Jed Lowrie 49 0.326 92 10.7 1.6
2009 Nick Green 81 0.297 70 2.6 0.2 0.2
Alex Gonzalez 44 0.335 95 5.1 0.9 2.2
Julio Lugo 32 0.324 88 -8.4 -0.5 0.8
2010 Marco Scutaro 132 0.321 93 0.2 2.1
2011 Marco Scutaro 109 0.344 112 5.8 2.7 4.8
Jed Lowrie 50 0.298 81 -1.9 0.1 0.1
2012 Mike Aviles 128 0.288 75 9.7 1.5 1.5
2013 Stephen Drew 124 0.337 109 10.9 3.4 3.4


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Top Offensive Seasons: While SS is notoriously an offensive-light position, the Sox had the luxury in the late 90s/early aughts of having a middle of the order bat playing the position in the form of Nomar Garciaparra. Nomar put up far and away the best offensive seasons with marks of 157 and 154 in 1999 and 2000. His 139 mark in 1998 was nothing to sneeze at either . John Valentin, who preceded Nomar, put up the 4th best mark with a 138 in 1995.

Top Defensive Seasons: You would expect that Def ratings would be high at SS and they are. Nomar was pretty solid with the glove as was Alex Gonzalez and Stephen Drew but John Valentin heads this list with 30.4 and 29.5 marks

Top Overall Seasons: Alright, raise your hand if you thought this would be anyone other than Nomar. John Valentin's 1995 season actually was better by WAR standards that anything Nomar put up over his career. Valentin actually had the highest WAR of the majors that year......go ahead and read that again if you will. Higher than Barry Bonds, Albert Belle, Edgar Martinez, etc. Nomar's 1997-2000 run takes the rest of the top 5.

Worst Season: The Sox have done surprising well at SS over the last 25 years with hardly any below replacement level seasons. I'm going to give the worst award to 2001 with Mike Lansing and Lou Merloni trying to fill in for the injured Nomar they combined to put up a 0.2 WAR. Honorable mention goes to 2009. Nick Green starting at any position for 81 games is probably not a good year for you.

Worst Defensive SS: You don't get many atrocious glove types at SS usually. Scutaro was not spectacular but passable but I'm giving this to Lugo because he was being paid like a superstar SS and did little spectacular both with the bat and the glove.

Average Seasons (2.0+ WAR): 16 of 25

Above Average Seasons (4.0+ WAR): 9 of 25

Star Seasons (6.0+ WAR): 5 of 25

Notes: John Valentin might be the most underrated Red Sox player ever. Despite his 1995 WAR he finished 9th in MVP voting. Of course they knew nothing of advance metrics back in those days. Across 5 seasons he put up 21.2 WAR.

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Top Red Sox SS of the Past 25 Years: Nomar Garciaparra

Imagine an infield of peak Nomar to team along with Pedroia. Nomar's 4 year run from 1997-2000 was truly something to behold with each season at 6.0+ WAR and he threw in a pretty darn solid 2002-2003 after coming back from a 2001 injury. 5,000,000 batting glove adjustments be damned!

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