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Sunday, September 29, 2013
12 notable player achievements

By Gordon Edes

BALTIMORE -- Here are a dozen notable individual achievements by Red Sox players in 2013:

* Center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury led the majors in stolen bases with 52 and was caught just four times, which is a stolen base percentage of 92.9 percent and the highest ever for a player with 50 or more steals.

* Designated hitter David Ortiz had his seventh season of 30-plus home runs and 100-plus RBIs, tying the club record held by Ted Williams. Ortiz became just the seventh player 37 or older to hit .300 or better with 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs.

Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli drove in a career-high 92 runs, including one on Sunday.
* Second baseman Dustin Pedroia led all Red Sox players with a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 6.5, which ranked sixth in the league. Pedroia, who played in a career-high 160 games, also had a defensive WAR of 2.4, behind only third baseman Manny Machado of the Orioles and outfielder Lorenzo Cain of the Royals.

* Koji Uehara retired a club-record 37 straight batters with a career-best 30 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. He was first among AL relievers in ERA, strikeout-to-walk ratio, WHIP, walks per 9, and opponents’ batting average.

* Jon Lester pitched a career-high 213 1/3 innings and went 15-8, the fifth time in the last six seasons he has won at least 15 games. His earned run average of 3.75 was more than a full point better than last season (4.82).

* Ellsbury and right-fielder Shane Victorino both ranked in the Top 5 in Zone Runs, one of the top metrics for defensive players. Ellsbury led all outfielders with 23 Zone Runs, which is the number of runs above or below what an average player was worth, based on number of plays made. Victorino led all AL right-fielders with 15, and was fifth overall.

* John Lackey, who began the season as the team’s fifth starter amid uncertainty of how he would bounce back from Tommy John surgery, made 29 starts, won 10 games, and posted a 3.52 ERA, his lowest ERA since he went 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA for the Angels in 2007.

* Mike Napoli, whose degenerative hip condition was a source of great concern at the time he signed with Boston, drove in 27 runs in April and finished with a career-best 92 RBIs. In his first season of playing first base, he also tied with Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks in Zone Runs with 11 to lead all big-leaguers at that position. He drove in 31 runs with the bases loaded, most by a Sox player since Vern Stephens had 32 in 1950. His three grand slams in a season ranks second in club history behind Babe Ruth’s four in 1919.

* Daniel Nava, who played in a career high 134 games, ranked second behind Mike Trout of the Angels in OBP for AL outfielders, his .385 OBP ranking fifth overall in the league. Among major-league switch hitters, he ranked first in OBP, third in OPS, and was tied for fifth in runs.

* Clay Buchholz went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his first 12 starts before shoulder bursitis shut him down for over three months. Buchholz finished the season with a 12-1 record and 1.74 ERA in 16 starts; he was 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA in seven road starts.

* Setup man Craig Breslow's 1.84 ERA ranked third among left-handed relievers in the American League. He was 3-0 with an 0.57 ERA in his last 32 appearances.

* Jarrod Saltalamacchia set a club record for catchers with 40 doubles. He also set career highs in hits, RBIs, extra-base hits, runs, walks and, yes, stolen bases (4).