5 Red Sox Players Who Are Cementing Themselves As Franchise Cornerstones

Which Red Sox players are emerging as important parts of Boston's future?
Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran
Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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2. Kutter Crawford

Crawford’s path to becoming arguably Boston’s best starting pitcher has not been a linear ascension. He shuttled between the bullpen and the rotation in his first MLB season in 2022, and while he had stretches of dominance last year, he was not overly consistent. However, metrics like his 3.83 FIP and 3.25 xERA highlighted that Crawford could be more than just a back-end starter.

Now in his first season as a full-time member of the rotation, Crawford has excelled, pitching to a minuscule 2.17 ERA in 10 starts, and allowing just 2 earned runs in his first five starts. He is limiting hard contact, ranking in the 88th percentile in opponent hard hit percentage, while posting above average walk and strikeout rates. 

The more consistent implementation of a sweeper to Crawford’s arsenal has done wonders for him, as batters are hitting just .222 against it, with an even lower .207 xBA.

In a year where Boston needed some of its homegrown starters to step up, Crawford and Houck, with the help of new pitching coach Andrew Bailey, have more than answered the call. Under team control through 2028, Crawford could be a permanent fixture of Boston’s rotation for the foreseeable future.