Deciding who would start at each batting and pitching position from the best Red Sox players of the last ten years.
1B: Mike Napoli: The Sox haven't really had any stars at first base in a while. The two up for consideration for the all decade team were Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland. Napoli takes the starting role though as in his prime, he was more important to the Sox than Moreland has been. He was a significant part of their 2013 World Series winning team. Backup: Mitch Moreland
2B: Dustin Pedroia: Pedroia is the easy choice at second base. Although he hasn't played really in the past few years, he still is the longest tenured Red Sox player. His contract has put Boston in a bit of a tough situation, but we can't forget how crucial he was for so long for the Sox. Brock Holt was the reliable utility man for the Sox for much of the decade.
Backup: Brock Holt
3B: Rafael Devers: Devers is just 23 years old, but this last season solidified his role as the most important Red Sox third baseman over the last ten years. He has an excellent mix of power and also average in his game. Will Middlebrooks would have taken the spot previously, but he simply is not comparable to a future star like Devers is.
Backup: Will Middlebrooks
SS: Xander Bogaerts: Bogaerts is a no brainer choice at shortstop, as he took over the starting role in 2013. I've said this before, but Bogaerts is one of the most underrated players in baseball. Last year, he had one of the best seasons of all time by a shortstop. Marco Scutaro is the only other player to start for more than a year this decade at shortstop.
Backup: Marco Scutaro
LF: Andrew Benintendi: Left field was a complete revolving door before Benintendi, as in the first seven years of the decade, six different players had the starting role. Benintendi has had the starting role for the last three years. 2019 was a dissapointment though, as most of his numbers decreased from the previous two years.
Backup: Jonny Gomes
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury: Jackie Bradley Jr. has played more games than Ellsbury in a Sox uniform this decade, but he has always been a bottom of the lineup guy. For a few years early in the decade, Ellsbury was one of, if not the Red Sox best player. In 2011 he finished 2nd in MVP voting while hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases.
Backup: Jackie Bradley Jr.
RF: Mookie Betts: Betts is the clear choice at right field, and the most talented player to play on the Sox this decade. Betts won an MVP, was a four time All Star, four time Gold Glove winner, and three time Silver Slugger. He is backed up by Shane Victorino, who only really had one full year with the Sox, but was key in their 2013 World Series win.
Backup: Shane Victorino
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia: The catcher position has been a weakness for most of the decade for the Red Sox, as they really haven't had any great players behind the plate. Saltalamacchia gets the starting role simply because he played the most. Christian Vazquez has taken over the catcher spot though, and looks like the most talented player to go through that position this decade for Boston.
Backup: Christian Vazquez
DH: David Ortiz: Time and time again Boston's playoff hero, Ortiz is not only the best DH of the decade, but arguably the best of all time. The future Hall of Famer was the heart and soul of the Red Sox offense for almost fifteen years. J.D. Martinez was a great addition to the Red Sox before 2018, and is one of the best offensive players in the game right now.
Backup: J.D. Martinez
SP1: Chris Sale: By no means has Sale started the most games this decade for the Red Sox, but he is the most talented pitcher to throw on a Sox uniform in a while. He was an All Star in each of his first two years in Boston, while also being top four in Cy Young voting both years, and getting votes for MVP. He was also crucial in their 2018 World Series.
SP2: Jon Lester: Lester is second in this rotation but was the Red Sox ace for so many years. Lester's numbers might not amaze you, but his consistency has been unparalled by any other Red Sox pitchers this decade. In addition, Lester flat out won games, even in some tough seasons for the Red Sox.
SP3: Rick Porcello: Although Porcello might just be one of the worst pitchers ever to win a Cy Young award, he still did win a Cy Young award with the Red Sox. He played five years for Boston, and although his ERA wasn't great (and is getting worse), he doesn't ever miss games to injury which raises his value.
SP4: Clay Bucholtz: Clay Bucholtz was a roller coaster ride of a pitcher, but he still did pitch six full seasons this decade with the Red Sox, so deserves to be on this list. He had tons of talent, and at times was completely shut down, but it was the bad spells that he went through that just made you shake your head and wonder.
SP5: Eduardo Rodriguez: As hard as it is for Red Sox fans to accept this, Eduardo Rodriguez is now the team's ace. In today's baseball his numbers are not terrible either. I'm not saying he's a star or anything, but he did finish 6th in American League Cy Young voting last year.
CL: Craig Kimbrel: In Kimbrel's three years with the Red Sox (and the five before that with the Braves and Padres), he was arguably the best closer in the game. He was an All Star each of those years, and had 31 saves, 35, and then 42. Although he was with the Braves for much of his prime, he is the best closer of his generation.
Backup: Koji Uehara
RP1: Matt Barnes: Barnes has been the Red Sox set up man for the last three or four years, and although his numbers don't amaze you, they are still solid. He does get a lot of strikeouts, and has been pretty much the only reliable reliever (not a closer) over the last few years.
RP2: Junichi Tazawa: Tazawa was a steady reliever on the Red Sox for about four years as well, but the 2013 playoffs are really what earned him his reputation. In thirteen games, he allowed just one run. If the Red Sox were going into the eighth inning ahead that year it was pretty much an automatic win with Tazawa and then Koji Uehara.