There are a few of these Factory Team Sets out there that I still needed, so I recently grabbed a couple of them. The first one was the 2014 set, which is mostly made up of players from the 2013 World Championship team, the Boston Strong team.
2. A.J. Pierzynski. This was the only new acquisition in the set. Pierzynski was signed to replaced the departed free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia. This signing did not work out. He played in 72 games before being released, hitting just .254/.286/.348 with four home runs and 31 RBIs. It was a far cry from his previous two seasons in Texas. He also did not work well with Jon Lester apparently.
3. David Ortiz. Ortiz was an absolute monster in the postseason in 2013, winning the World Series MVP. He was also an All Star during the regular season after hitting .309/.395/.564 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs.
4. Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa was an underrated hero in the bullpen, becoming the primary setup man. He pitched in 71 games, striking out 72 while walking just 12 in 68.1 innings with a 3.16 ERA and a 5-4 record.
5. Jonny Gomes. Gomes had some major clutch hits during the regular season, walking off a couple of games and delivering several pinch-hit home runs. In a mostly platooned role with Daniel Nava, he hit .247/.344/.426 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs.
6. Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts made his Major League debut in 2013, and essentially took over at third base when Will Middlebrooks struggled. Bogaerts played in just 18 games, but he did hit his first Major League home run and hit .250/.320/.364.
7. Jake Peavy. Peavy was the major trading deadline pickup in 2013, acquired from the White Sox in a three-team deal that cost Boston Jose Iglesias. He pitched reasonably well down the stretch, making ten starts and going 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA while striking out 45 and walking 19 in 64.2 innings.
8. Mike Napoli. Napoli was signed to take over first base and did a terrific job. He had a very good season, hitting .259/.360/.482 with 23 home runs and 92 RBIs. He struck out a ton, 187 times, but he also drew 73 walks. Napoli was an outspoken leader in the clubhouse as well.
9. Koji Uehara. Uehara was one of my favorite players in 2013. He was simply a joy to watch. He was acquired to be the setup man to newly-acquired Joel Hanrahan, but eventually took over the closer role, and had one of the greatest seasons as a Red Sox closer of all time. He was 4-1 with a 1.09 ERA, saving 21 games. He pitched in 74.1 innings, striking out 101 while walking nine, for a 0.565 WHIP. Damn he was good.
11. Jon Lester. The ace of the Red Sox staff in 2013 went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA, pitching 213.1 innings. He struck out 177 and walked 67. He was terrific in the postseason as well, as usual for Lester.
12. John Lackey. After missing the entire 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lackey finally proved to be worth his contract in 2013 turning in a 10-13 record, but with a 3.52 ERA, striking out 161 while walking 40 in 189.1 innings. He also turned in some gutsy performances in the postseason.
13. Will Middlebrooks. A lot was expected of Middlebrooks after he took over for Kevin Youkilis and started strong. Unfortunately, Middlebrooks hit just .227/.271/.425 with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. He would eventually lose his starting job and never returned to his 2012 success.
14. Felix Doubront. Doubront had a nice sophomore season, going 11-6 with a 4.32 ERA, striking out 139 and walking 71 in 162.1 innings. Doubront mostly pitched out of the bullpen in the postseason, but he was very impressive.
15. Clay Buchholz. There is no way to tell how good Buchholz's 2013 season might have been had he stayed healthy. He was named to the All Star team for the second time in his career and was the favorite for the Cy Young Award until he went down with an injury. His regular season numbers were a 12-1 record and a 1.74 ERA. He notched 96 strikeouts and 36 walks in 108.1 innings.
16. Shane Victorino. The signing of Victorino drew a lot of criticism, but he had a terrific season, hitting .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs, while stealing 21 bases. He had some huge hits in the postseason, including a grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS that drove the nail in the Tigers' season. Finally, he won a Gold Glove Award.
17. Fenway Park. Boston clinched the World Series at Fenway, for the first time since 1918. It was also the site of the famous Ortiz speech after the Boston Marathon bombing.