When you think of great hitters that have donned a Red Sox uniform over the course of the franchise’s storied history, names that first come to mind probably include legends such as Ted Williams, Wade Boggs, and Nomar Garciaparra.
As revered as those three individuals are, there’s probably one former Red Sox player you weren’t thinking of. His name? Chase d’Arnaud.
You might be thinking to yourself, Chase d’Arnaud only played two games with the Red Sox a few seasons ago. How could he possibly be regarded as one of the best hitters in the franchise’s history?
Well, I’ll tell you why that is. d’Arnaud owns a career 1.000 batting average with the Red Sox. It’s that simple. According to FanGraphs, six players have accomplished that feat and d’Arnaud is the only one who wasn’t a pitcher. Boom.
Claimed off waivers by Boston from the Atlanta Braves on April 27th, 2017, d’Arnaud made his Red Sox debut on May 7th as a pinch-runner and scored a run in a 17-6 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Two days later, d’Arnaud, then 29, got his first plate appearance with the Red Sox in Milwaukee, when he pinch-hit for Drew Pomeranz in the top half of the sixth inning.
Facing off against Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta, d’Arnaud reached on an infield single and came in to score on a Mookie Betts RBI double a few moments later.
The very next half inning, d’Arnaud’s day came to an end with Fernando Abad entering the game in relief of Pomeranz.
d’Arnaud did not appear in another game in any capacity for the Red Sox and on May 18th, he was designated for assignment to make room for right-hander Hector Velazquez.
In total, the California native went 1-for-1 with that single and two runs scored in his brief tenure with the Red Sox. That’s good for an OPS+ of 430 and a wRC+ of 474. Not too shabby when you don’t think about the number of plate appearances. Hall of Fame numbers, really.
So, without taking qualifications into consideration, Chase d’Arnaud really is one of the best hitters the Red Sox have ever seen.