Boston Red Sox: 3 players that exceeded expectations this season

Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Rafael Devers #11, Christian Arroyo #39, Xander Bogaerts #2, and Kyle Schwarber #18 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

With the dust finally settling in the aftermath of the Boston Red Sox disappointing defeat in the American League Championship Series at the hands of the Houston Astros, it’s time we take a look back on a wildly exciting season for the Sox. Coming into the season, this team wasn’t really expected to be a playoff team, let alone one of the final four teams playing baseball in 2021. Despite the disappointing finish, this was still an extremely good season of baseball for Boston.

Boasting a roster that doesn’t look markedly different from the one in 2020 that labored to a last place finish in the American League East, it’s no surprise that expectations were somewhat tempered heading into the season. Core players such as Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers were still around, but the same was true in the season before as well.

They were going to need their stars to step up to even have a shot, and boy did they ever. Whether it was players performing as expected (Bogaerts & Devers), a bounce back season (J.D. Martinez), or the emergence of a star (Nathan Eovaldi), this roster got production from their key players that they desperately needed.

It didn’t end there, as the Sox got superb seasons up and down the roster. As a result, it’s no surprise this team made it as far as they did. But things certainly weren’t expected to go this way heading into the season. Let’s take a look at three players who massively exceeded their expectations heading into the season, and helped contribute to the upstart 2021 Boston Red Sox team.