Koji or Kimbrel? Jackie or Ellsbury? Picking an All-Decade Team for the Red Sox.


In the spirit of cranking out All-Decade teams (thanks Patriots for getting the ball rolling), I present to you my Red Sox All-Decade Team, identifying the best from 2010-19:

FIRST BASE: Adrian Gonzalez

This was a tough one. Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli have very similar resumes, having each played three seasons as the team's primary first baseman while each winning a championship. But it is impossible to overlook how good Gonzalez was for 2011 and most of 2012, totaling a .914 OPS while playing the position in Boston.

SECOND BASE: Dustin Pedroia

Despite his injuries over the past few years, there isn't really anyone close. Since 2010, Pedroia has hit .297 with a .799 OPS while winning three Gold Gloves.

SHORTSTOP: Xander Bogaerts

This is another runaway for a player some thought didn't have a future at the position after his temporary relocation to third base in 2013. The only other player other than Bogaerts (3,719 plate appearances from 2010-19) who has managed more than 1,000 plate appearances last decade while playing shortstop for the Red Sox was Marco Scutaro.

THIRD BASE: Rafael Devers

Despite his age, Devers has already locked this up with 324 games manned at third base, 98 more than the player with the second-most appearances at the position, Will Middlebrooks. Adrian Beltre has had the best year (.919 OPS in 2010), but Devers has been consistently good since his promotion.

LEFT FIELD: Andrew Benintendi

Benintendi has had 1,763 appearances in left field, with Daniel Nava's 827 a distant second. Nava actually has better offensive numbers than Benintendi when playing left field (.786-768 OPS), but not by enough to make up for the current left fielder's longevity. The only two players who managed OPS' of more than .800 while playing in 100 or more games in left for the Sox last decade? J.D. Martinez and Mike Carp.

CENTER FIELD: Jackie Bradley Jr.

It's hard to overlook what Jacoby Ellsbury did before leaving after the 2013 season, but Bradley Jr.'s tenure has been just good enough offensively and certainly good enough defensively to give him the edge. Really for the last decade, it was these two and nobody else at the position, with Mookie Betts playing the third-most games at just 192.

RIGHT FIELD: Mookie Betts

Shane Victorino certainly left his mark thanks to 2013, but Betts is perhaps the biggest no-doubter of the bunch. After Mookie, J.D. Drew actually played the most games in right for the Red Sox last decade.


Sorry, J.D. Martinez.

CATCHER: Christian Vazquez

The best year? That would be Victor Martinez in 2010. And Jarrod Saltalamacchia certainly had his moments from 2010-14. But Saltalamacchia would catch fewer games with the Red Sox than Sandy Leon while hitting 15 points lower than Vazquez. By the way, who was the one player who caught just one game for the Red Sox last decade? Guillermo Quiroz.

STARTING PITCHERS: Jon Lester, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz

Some might argue Buchholz over Eduardo Rodriguez, it shouldn't be that much of a debate. Buchholz had 17 more wins and a lower ERA (3.78 to 4.03). Porcello had more wins in the decade than any Red Sox pitcher, while winning a Cy Young. Lester totaled the most strikeouts. And Sale and Price were ace-like enough through stretches with the Red Sox. Other than Rodriguez, the only real candidate was John Lackey.

CLOSER: Craig Kimbrel

I really wanted to put Koji Uehara here because there really hasn't been a burst of dominance like what he displayed in 2013, but it's impossible to overlook the numbers. Kimbrel had the most saves, the best save percentage and the lowest batting average against. Jonathan Papelbon is a solid No. 3.

MANAGER: Alex Cora

Terry Francona is going into the Hall of Fame, but 2010 and 2011 can't be considered his best seasons. John Farrell was the right guy at the right time in 2013. But nobody had a season like Cora did in 2018, which puts him over the top.