The Boston Red Sox have the best record in baseball.
Truthfully, very few people saw this coming.
Most preseason projections expected the club to hover somewhere around the .500 mark this year, but we’re now three months into the season, and there is no way that’s going to happen.
The club is currently 51-31 and has a three-and-a-half game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the top spot in the American League East.
It's a party in Boston! 🎉🧦
The Red Sox are the first AL team to eclipse 5️⃣0️⃣ Ws on the season! pic.twitter.com/luhmBmSgBf
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 1, 2021
The Red Sox have gotten this far thanks to some standout campaigns from players both expected and unexpected.
Which three players have been the most surprising this season for Boston?
3. Martin Perez – SP
The Red Sox decided to give Martin Perez another shot in 2021 after he was just okay in 2020.
The results have been very positive.
Perez currently has a 4.04 ERA, 4.37 FIP, and 1.43 WHIP.
Not exactly gorgeous, but effective.
The Red Sox are 10-6 when he gets the ball, and he has allowed three runs or fewer in 16 of his 19 starts.
His solid campaign has been massive for Boston this season, as the club really needed some unproven arms to step up until the return of staff ace Chris Sale.
Sale is just about ready to rejoin the team, and when he does, this Red Sox rotation will get a big-time boost.
2. Garrett Whitlock – RP
The Red Sox stole Garrett Whitlock from the New York Yankees in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft.
He was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time, so the Yankees seemed to think that no other team was going to roll the dice on him.
They were wrong.
And Whitlock has been a massive addition for the Red Sox.
Over 22 relief appearances, the 25-year-old has a 1.42 ERA, 3.03 FIP, and 1.16 WHIP.
He is currently enjoying a nine-inning scoreless streak.
The righty has established himself as one of the most dependable relief options in a Red Sox bullpen that needed him badly.
This is his rookie campaign, so he is likely to get some Rookie of the Year consideration.
1. Hunter Renfroe – OF
Hunter Renfroe has exceeded all expectations this season.
The 29-year-old immediately impressed Red Sox fans with his stellar defense in right field, but he has recently started doing it at the plate, too.
Hunter Renfroe has silently become one of the best players on this team. pic.twitter.com/8W72LQH3sz
— Quinn Riley 🍀 (@QuinnRiley_BSW) June 29, 2021
Since May 26, Renfroe is batting .343 with a 1.041 OPS, seven home runs, and 10 doubles.
The stretch has elevated his season batting average to .272 and his season OPS to .807.
This has all the makings of being the best season of Renfroe’s career so far, and he’s picking a good year for it—one where he’s playing for a contending team.
The emerging star is under contract through the 2023 season.
Red Sox president Chaim Bloom has done a stellar job finding talent in unexpected places.
He is quickly being a very popular man in Boston.
The Red Sox are in a great position moving forward and will likely be in the playoff mix for years to come.
But right now, the focus is on winning a title in 2021, and that is a goal this club is perfectly capable of fulfilling.