In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.1992 - TOM BRUNANSKY
The second year I was a fan of the Red Sox, they were terrible, finishing in last place for the only team since I have been a fan. The major reason for their last place finish was an almost complete lack of offense. All of their regulars who were counted on for the last several years had down years, even Wade Boggs whose batting average dipped down to the .250s. It was incredibly bad.
Tom Brunansky was the only Red Sox regular to have even a decent year. Bruno was the only Red Sox player with an above-average OPS+ in 1992. That said, his numbers were still not on par with some of his earliest years. Bruno never cracked 20 home runs with Boston, odd for a right-handed power hitter, but his best years were definitely behind him.
1992 was Brunansky's best year in Boston as he batted .266/.344/.445 with 15 home runs and 74 RBIs, both of which lead the team that year. That is how bad Boston's hitters were in 1992. Brunansky also lead the team in doubles, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Without Brunansky it's kind of scary to think where Boston would have ended up.
After the season, Brunansky was allowed to walk as a free agent to join the Brewers and the Red Sox replaced him with Andre Dawson and Ivan Calderon. In 1994, Bruno was re-acquired in a trade for Dave Valle and finished his career with the Red Sox, hitting ten home runs in 48 games for the team.