For those of you just tuning into the 2013 Red Sox following various playoff runs and murder scandals, the Sox are having a nice little season. A 51-34 record and sitting in first place in the A.L. East, the team is nearly guaranteed to surpass their 2012 win mark of 69 wins, and primed to make their first playoff appearance since 2009.
CSNNE.com Red Sox insider Sean McAdam has followed the local nine all season, and gives his take on the heroes and the zeroes so far in 2013.
MVP: Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia has played all but one game for the Red Sox in 2013, leading the team in runs (53), hits (104), doubles (22), and batting average (.321). In the field, he has made just one error in 382 chances at second base.
“He’s among league leaders in every single category except home runs,” said McAdam. “A season shaping up very much like the one in 2008 when he was named the AL MVP.”
Biggest surprise: Jose Iglesias
Anyone who would’ve predicted in the spring that Jose Iglesias would have a .415 batting average and .992 OPS on July 2nd would’ve had their sanity put in question. After struggling to reach the Mendoza Line in the minors and putting up a .118 clip in 25 games with the big club in 2012, Iglesias has turned into an on-base machine for the Red Sox.
“The fact he has consistently gotten on base,” is why McAdam gave Iglesias the nod over John Lackey or Daniel Nava.
Biggest disappointment: Jonny Gomes
While Gomes has played a big role in the culture shift in the clubhouse, the primary reason the Red Sox signed him to a 2-year, $10-million contract in November was because of his ability to hit left-handed pitching (.284 career average against lefties entering 2013). Gomes has struggled with the southpaws in 2013, hitting .220 (18-for-82) against left-handed pitchers. Overall, he has hit just .225 with a .710 OPS and 5 home runs.
“He had been an emotional leader, a guy in the clubhouse everyone has rallied around,” said McAdam. “But he was also supposed to mash left-handed pitching.”
Unsung hero: Mike Carp
A low-profile Spring Training signing, fans didn’t know what to expect from the 27-year old ex-Mariners prospect. But through three months of baseball, Carp has proven to be an invaluable piece of the Red Sox puzzle, providing a big bat off the bench (.310 average, .646 slugging percentage). In the field, Carp has proven his worth with the ability to play a dependable first base as well as both corner outfield positions.
“He came in, it took a while to find the stroke,” said McAdam. “But here he is, just over 40 games with 8 home runs, 25 RBI off the bench, filled in a little bit in the outfield, filled in a little bit a first base.”
For more of what Sean McAdam had to say on his midseason awards, click the video above.