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
Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox player who exceeded expectations No. 3: Hunter Renfroe

If it weren’t for a horrid postseason showing from Renfroe, he probably moves up a spot on this list. Renfroe was OK against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, but only managed to go 1/16 in the ALCS against the Astros, putting a damper on a career year for the veteran outfielder.

Even with the sour ending to the season, Renfroe put together a breakout season with the Red Sox. After putting together an ugly 2020 season in which he only batted .156, Renfroe figured to find himself in a platoon role in the outfield for Boston. Instead, he quickly made the spacious right field of Fenway Park his own, and cemented himself as part of one the most deadly lineups in the game.

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Renfroe finished the season hitting .259, which was the highest of his career, while also smacking 31 home runs and driving in 96 runs. During the second half of the season when the lineup struggled for long stretches, it felt like Renfroe could always be counted on to step up and deliver when his team needed him the most.

Renfroe also had a career year in the outfield for the Sox as well. He’s not the most conventional fielder by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly made his fair share of confusing mistakes in right field this season, but he has an absolute cannon of arm which was on full display all season long. Renfroe’s 16 assists from the outfield were tied for the major league lead.

Considering Renfroe made just over $3 million this season, and he’s under team control through arbitration for next season, he has to be considered one of the best free agent signings from last offseason. Renfroe came in with the expectation of a platoon player, and turned into one of the best right fielders in the game. You can’t ask for much more than that.