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.
In 2010 the Red Sox were hit with a massive wave of injuries. Included in those injuries were starting outfielders Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury, as well as backup Jeremy Hermida. So Boston was in a pinch for outfielders, which lead to them turning to Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, and Darnell McDonald.
McDonald immediately stabilized the outfield, playing 69 games in center field and an additional 30 games at each of the other two spots. He hit reasonably well for a line of .270/.336/.429 with nine home runs, 18 doubles, three triples, nine stolen bases, and 34 RBIs. It was the first time in his career that McDonald had been given the opportunity to play close to full-time and he took full advantage of it.
Ultimately, it turned out that McDonald was just a stopgap. He would be back in a part-time role in 2011 and 2012 and then later released. He ended up with the Yankees where he played just four games, yet somehow got a card made. Stupid Yankees.