ESPN ranks 6 Red Sox players among MLB’s top 100 in 2016

Mar 19, 2016; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (50) is congratulated by shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at JetBlue Park. The Red Sox won 3-1 as the game was cancelled after five innings due to inclement weather. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Mookie Betts is congratulated by Xander Bogaerts after hitting a home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at JetBlue Park. –Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY

Lack of individual talent shouldn’t be a problem for the 2016 Red Sox, according to ESPN’s baseball experts.

Boston placed six players on ESPN’s 2016 Baseball Tonight 100 list. ESPN polled 70 of its experts in February and March to construct a list of the best MLB players in the 2016 season. When the top 10 was finally revealed on Thursday (with Angels center fielder Mike Trout in the No. 1 spot), the Red Sox were tied with the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays for most players on the 2016 list.

A pair of new arrivals garnered the most respect from ESPN’s panel: Starting pitcher David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel ranked as the Red Sox’ two best players, coming in at 15th and 36th, respectively.

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Before arriving in Boston as a free agent in December, Price made 32 starts in 2015 for the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, accumulating an 18-5 record with a 2.45 ERA and 225 strikeouts.

Kimbrel, who came to Boston via trade in November, recorded 39 saves in 59.1 IP, totaling 87 strikeouts with a 2.58 ERA last season.

Other Red Sox players on the list:

56. Mookie Betts

72. Xander Bogaerts

73. David Ortiz — 73rd

99. Dustin Pedroia

2016 Red Sox 40-man roster

 

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