Saturday, March 2, 2013

Underrated Player of the Year: 2006

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. 
The trade that brought Wily Mo Pena to Boston was not a particularly good one.  The Red Sox sent Bronson Arroyo who was starting to make a name for himself after a decent 2005 to the Reds for Pena.  The Red Sox needed some more offense and thought they had a surplus of starting pitching and Arroyo was signed to a reasonable contract.

However, Pena had a decent season in 2006.  He definitely provided the power that the Red Sox hoped for, with 11 home runs in only 84 games.  He also provided a decent batting average and on-base percentage, ending up with a slash line of .301/.349/.489.  

He could always hit, but he had more than a few adventures on the fielding side of things.  Pena was pressed into full-time duty when Coco Crisp went down with an injury.  He was miscast as a center fielder during this period.

I saw Pena play in Kansas City that year and he absolutely crushed a home run that nearly left the stadium.

Unfortunately Pena would not play nearly as well in 2007 and he was eventually traded to the Nationals for Chris Carter.

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