Finn: Who are the best defensive players in Red Sox history?

From Chad Finn at the Boston Globe on February 21, 2020:

Rather than pondering . . . well, whatever it is that the Red Sox are attempting to do, let’s take today to just have a simple baseball conversation. We’re overdue for one of those, that’s for sure.

The topic, which was somewhat spurred by the acquisition of Kevin Pillar — a wonderful defensive outfielder who would be a nice defensive complement to Jackie Bradley Jr. if I didn’t suspect he was actually here to replace him — is this:

Who are the best defensive players by position in Red Sox history?

I’ll admit, this exercise was more subjective than I expected. There are plenty of outstanding candidates throughout Red Sox lore at almost — almost — every position. I also realized I should know enough to admit what I don’t know. Old-timers swear by Jimmy Piersall in center field. His career ended two years before I was born, so I never saw him play, and Tony Perkins didn’t exactly mirror his athletic grace in “Fear Strikes Out.” I can’t imagine he was better than Jackie Bradley Jr. But I’m here for your argument.

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Originally published: February 21, 2020. Last Updated: February 21, 2020.