4. Nomar Garciaparra, 1997
Throughout his career, Nomar was a fan favorite with the Red Sox.
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In my opinion, Garciaparra is one of the most underrated players in baseball history. He did not enjoy as much success with other teams as he did with the Red Sox and struggled to stay healthy especially in the later stages of his career, but his consistency at the plate does not get the credit it deserves.
This includes a spectacular 1997 rookie season when Nomar won AL Rookie of the Year with the Red Sox. The shortstop hit .306 with 30 homers and 98 RBIs and was a big part of the Red Sox offense as a 23-year-old rookie. Nomar led the AL in at-bats (684), hits (209), and triples (11). He also led the Red Sox with 22 steals and 122 runs.
Garciaparra won Rookie of the Year unanimously, earned an all-star game appearance, was awarded a Silver Slugger at shortstop, and finished eighth in AL MVP voting.
In nine seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Nomar hit .323 with 178 homers, 690 RBIs, and 95 steals in 3,968 at-bats. Garciaparra hit an incredible .357 with the Red Sox in 1999 and an even better .372 in 2000. Garciaparra is easily one of the greatest Red Sox players ever.
It is pretty impressive that a season as good as Nomar’s 1997 season finished just fourth on this list. Let’s take a look at the three seasons that were even better.