The Red Sox struggled out of the gate in 2011, with many players underperforming. But as they've gotten into a groove as a team, finally reaching the elusive .500 mark, many players have turned things around.
Adrian Gonzalez currently leads the Red Sox in all three Triple Crown categories — average, home runs and RBIs. With the pace that he's on, Gonzalez could make a strong push toward finishing the season with baseball's first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat back in 1976.
Gonzalez, who also leads the team in hits, slugging percentage and OPS, has nine home runs and 37 RBIs to along with a .322 batting average.
Jacoby Ellsbury may not have the power numbers of Gonzalez, but his importance to the Red Sox can't be understated. He's been one of the team's most consistent players this season, helping to set the table for guys like Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.
Ellsbury is batting .302 and has showed some pop thus far, with four home runs and 19 RBIs to his credit. Of course, whenever the speedy outfielder gets on base, he's a threat to steal. This season, he has 13 stolen bases, which is tied for fourth in the majors.
Dustin Pedroia, who normally hits out of the No. 2 spot in the order, is another guy who's helped set the table for the middle of the Red Sox order.
His numbers aren't exactly what one might expect from the former AL MVP — especially his .245 batting average — but he's had some of the season's best at-bats. He consistently makes the opposing pitcher work, and has been a tough guy to get out despite the sub-par totals.
David Ortiz, who has been benefiting greatly from those guys hitting in front of him, has shown why the Red Sox re-signed him for another season. The slugging designated hitter struggled to begin the past couple of seasons, but he's hit full stride quite early this year, which could make him even more dangerous once the weather warms up.
Ortiz has seven home runs to with 19 RBIs, a .281 average and a .365 on-base percentage.
If these guys all have one thing in common, it's that they were all expected to have solid seasons offensively. Jed Lowrie's stellar April and May, on the other hand, has come as a bit of a surprise.
Now the everyday shortstop, Lowrie helped spark the Red Sox' turnaround. He's exceeded the expectations that most set for him when he began the season as a utility player. Lowrie is hitting .320 with three home runs and 18 RBIs.
That turnaround the Red Sox experienced, though, may not have come to fruition had the Sox not received some stellar pitching from its starters.
After a tumultuous 2010 campaign, Josh Beckettt has been dominant in 2011, regaining the top-of-the-rotation form that he had in previous years. He is 3-1 in eight starts, but boasts a minuscule 1.75 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, both tops among Sox starters.
The hard-throwing Texan has been especially effective recently. He hasn't allowed a run in his last three starts — a span of 17 1/3 innings.
Jon Lester, the team's Opening Day starter, has been very effective as well. His five wins lead the Red Sox staff, as do his six quality starts and 58 strikeouts.
So who has been the Red Sox' most valuable player so far? Share your thoughts below.
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