Saturday, February 16, 2013

Underrated Player of the Year: 2004

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.
Boston had been having a lot of trouble finding a long term solution at second base.  Bellhorn did not really fix that problem as he had one good year in 2004 then struggled a lot before being released in 2005.  

Bellhorn hit .264/.373/.444 for the World Champions.  It was his ability to get on base that made the team pick him up and he definitely came through.  Bellhorn drew 88 walks that year, a surprising number and a career high by quite a bit.  He also hit 17 home runs and drove in 82 runs while playing good defense at second.  He did strike out 177 times, a team record, but he was by and large a very productive player.

Finally, he showed up in a big way in the postseason, hitting two crucial home runs against the Yankees in the ALCS and hitting .300/.563/.700 in the World Series with the go-ahead home run in Game 1 against the Cardinals.

Unfortunately, he was not nearly as productive in 2005 and was given his release.

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