Thursday, August 2, 2012

Underrated Player of the Year: 2003

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. 
Wow did Bill Mueller come out of nowhere to have a great year in 2003. Mueller had always been a solid, if unspectacular player, over the years. He had played with the Giants and Cubs before going to the Red Sox as a free agent in 2003.

His play in 2003 though was completely unexpected. Mueller surpassed expectations and caused Shea Hillenbrand to be expendable. He was a talented defensive third-baseman and set career highs in virtually every offensive category. Along the way, he won the Silver Slugger, the batting title, and hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in one game.

Mueller hit .326/.398/.540 with 19 home runs, 85 RBIs, and 85 runs scored. He finished twelfth in the MVP vote.

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