For the final article in my series of the greatest Red Sox players to wear each uniform number, I will cover the numbers 71 and higher. This one will get a little weird, with guys who didn’t play much wearing the number or still haven’t played much. However, they are all recent guys and have made some sort of contribution at least, so I didn’t want to leave them out. Many numbers up this high have never been worn, and a few others have only had one guy wear them.
Number 71 – Austin Maddox
Maddox didn’t pitch long with the Red Sox, but he was great while he did. He spent three separate stints with the big club in 2017, with the longest coming in September. He impressed so much he was included on the postseason roster.
Maddox allowed just one run over 17.1 innings pitched in 2017. He struck out 14, allowed just 13 hits and walked only two. In seven of his 13 outings he was called upon to get more than three outs.
Unfortunately, Maddox was hurt almost the entire 2018 season, never coming close to returning to Boston. He faces an uphill battle to be with the team this season.
Number 72 – Xander Bogaerts
Before he wore the number 2, Bogaerts was number 72 when called up to the roster in 2013. Having to pay his dues and earn the right to grab a lower number, Bogaerts showed enough that September that he was placed on the postseason roster.
In September of 2013, Bogaerts hit .250 with a home run and a stolen base. The newly turned 21 year old impressed further in the playoffs. In the ALCS against Detroit he was three for six at the plate with three doubles and three walks. He showed more patience that October than he showed for a while afterwards. His play wasn’t as good in the World Series, but he still contributed five hits, including a triple. In total, he was 8-27 with six walks that postseason.
Number 73 – Tzu-Wei Lin
Tzu-Wei Lin wore the number 73 in 2017, his first year in the bigs. He was with the Red Sox for almost a month in the summer, then came back up in September. While with the team, he played some good infield defense and showed an ability to get on base.
Lin made just one error over 25 games divided between second base, shortstop and third base. He also had a very solid .369 on-base percentage that season over 66 plate appearances. Lin doesn’t have much power, but did hit two triples in his limited time in Boston. This past season, Lin wore a different number while with Boston.
Number 76 – Hector Velazquez
Skipping a couple numbers here to get to an underrated member of the Red Sox, Hector Velazquez. He has relieved and started during his time in Boston, but no matter what he’s doing, he just seems to win.
Velazquez has a 10-3 record over his two seasons in Boston so far. He has made 11 starts and 44 relief appearances in that time. His first outing in 2017 didn’t go that well, but he was rock solid from then on. After taking a loss in his first game, opponents batted just .176 the rest of 2017 against Velazquez, as he went 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA.
In 2018, he started in his first appearance and pitched great. After being bumped to the bullpen, he made another spot start and was solid again. Despite bouncing back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, Velazquez finished the season 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA over 85 innings. He is one of the most underappreciated players on the team.
Number 77 – Pedro Ciriaco
Ciriaco spent parts of two seasons with the Red Sox, wearing number 77 during his first season. This fits perfectly for the purposes of this article, since Ciriaco did well in 2012 wearing 77. The following season, he did not fare well while wearing number 23.
Ciriaco played a lot during that miserable 2012 season for the Red Sox. Ciriaco played every position except for first base and catcher that season. He batted .293 over 259 at-bats. Although he rarely drew a walk, he gave them a good utility player over the season. Ciriaco also stole 16 bases in 19 tries.
Number 91 – Alfredo Aceves
A big jump up to the number 91. Some other numbers were briefly worn, but no one made enough of an impact.
Despite going 14-1 with a 3.21 ERA over parts of three seasons with the Yankees, the Yankees let Aceves go after 2010. He continued his excellent run into 2011 with the Red Sox. Aceves made 55 appearances, four of them starts in 2011, going 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA and two saves. His 1.10 WHIP backed up his success. He was 24-3 lifetime at this point in time.
Aceves never found that success again. He actually closed on the lousy 2012 Red Sox, but did not fare well. Aceves saved 25 games, but also lost 10 and posted a 5.36 ERA. Back again in 2013, Aceves went 4-1 but had a 4.86 ERA. However, his first season in Boston was good enough that his ERA in Boston remained under 4.00 while posting a winning record.
Featured picture from RantSports