Every year there are players that step into the batting box and all of Red Sox Nation cringes.
This still happens whenever Aaron Boone speaks or they talk about his home run off Wakefield in 2003. Sox fans can also put Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino on that list after what they did in game 162 last year.
This year, the Red Sox will be facing more difficult opponents in the form of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols but the usual cast of characters will still be there to try and spoil the Red Sox return to the playoffs.
If the Red Sox are going to be the best team in the American League, then they must take care of these players when they are up to bat.
Adam Jones has the combination of speed and power that can absolutely crush opponents.
Against the Red Sox last season, Jones hit .339 with an OBS of .397 and a slugging percentage of .559.
Jones had the most total bases of anyone on the Orioles last season with 33 and had 20 hits in only 18 games.
Alexei Ramirez had the Red Sox number in all the games played between the two clubs.
In only six games, Ramirez had a batting average of .480. That equates to 12 hits in 25 at bats. His batting average is .100 points above the next highest average of .368 by Paul Konerko.
While Ramirez did not hit any home runs against the Sox, he did contribute by scoring on half of his hits.
Known more for his spectacular plays at shortstop, last season, Asdrubal Cabrera also swung a mean bat against Red Sox pitchers.
He had an astounding 29 total bases which is extremely good for only playing the Red Sox 10 times. That is an average of 2.9 bases per games. He also batted .333 and hit 4 home runs.
His OBP was also good at .366 and he slugged .744. He had a total of 11 RBIs which was far and away the best on the team against the Red Sox.
I can see how people expect Prince Fielder to be the biggest threat that the Tiger can send to the plate against the Red Sox but Miguel Cabrera is even more deadly.
The reason, he has more experience.
Fielder doesn't consistently face the Red Sox every year and Cabrera does. He knows the pitchers and their tenancies.
It is experience that separates these two. A fully healthy Cabrera poses a bigger threat to the Red Sox than Fielder.
Lets be honest, the Royals strength lies in their deep farm system. Their major league club hasn't competed for a division pennant in a long time.
However, Billy Butler still manages to produce against the Red Sox.
In 33 at bats, Butler hit .455 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Hit 15 hits were the most against the Red Sox on the Royals all last year. His OPS was an astounding 1.335.
The last thing a pitcher wants to see stepping into the batters box is someone with the nickname, "The Machine".
The best player in baseball will face the Red Sox every year for a long time.
He is the batter that no pitcher wants to face.
Last year, even though he was hurt for a bit, still managed to hit 37 home runs and hit home 99 runners. A healthy Pujols is a dangerous Pujols.
Trevor Plouffe might not be the first name that one thinks of when the Minnesota Twins are mentioned but of all the Twins, he did the most damage against the Red Sox last year.
He only played in 81 total games last year but he made them count when he faced Boston. He had a batting average of .333 with two doubles and one home run. His biggest contribution was scoring seven times. He walked twice and had a stolen base.
He provided the spark for the team and got on base so the power hitters like Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel could drive in the runs.
Lets be realistic, everyone on the Yankees can hit the Red Sox pitchers. However, last year, it wasn't Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter or even Robinson Cano that did the most damage. It was Russell Martin.
While Martin only hit .250 against the Sox, his slugging percentage was a fantastic .500. He was tied for the most home runs against the Red Sox on the Yankee roster with Curtis Granderson at 3. He also was the only player to have double digit RBI numbers against the Sox with 10.
He also commanded the strike zone, walking a total of five times.
The Oakland Athletics are not on the same level as the Yankees, Red Sox and the Texas Rangers.
That said, they have a few players that give Red Sox pitchers fits. One such player is Daric Barton.
While his numbers might not jump off the page, he was none the less effective against Boston. He walked four times and struck out only once. He hit a solid .350 in 20 at bats last year but didn't have a home run.
He also contributed with 5 RBIs and scored four more times.
He still is a hitting machine. Ichiro's age might be catching up with him but he is still the best singles hitter in the game today.
He had a batting average of .342 last year and had an OBS of .405. He stole four bases and walked four times. His 18 total bases were the most of any Mariner players.
Ichiro did manage to hit one home run off the Red Sox which is pretty good considering he hits for average and not power.
Carl Crawford used to be known as the Red Sox killer but Boston decided that they would like him better batting for them.
Now that title has fallen on to the quick B.J. Upton.
Upton had 78 at bats against Boston last year and still managed to hit above .300. He totaled 3 home runs, 11 RBIs and scored 13 times.
While he did strike out 22 times, he manages to steal five bases and walk four times.
Upton did have a down year overall, batting .243 but managed to step up his game whenever he played Boston.
Out of everyone that I have listed, Ian Kinsler was the biggest thorn in the Red Sox side last year and will most likely continue to be this year.
He slugged six home runs which contributed to his slugging percentage of .872. Not only did he drive in runs, but he also scored runs, 11 to be exact. He had a total of 13 hits, with two of them being a double and a triple.
His total OPS was an amazing 1.297. His 34 total bases was 10 total bases higher than he next person, Mike Napoli with 24.
One might expect Jose Bautista to be the most feared Blue Jay that the Red Sox will face but that is not true. While Bautista did hit four home runs and drive in 11 runs, he had a batting average of only .234 and did strike out 14 times.
On the other hand, Rajai Davis used his speed to run around the Red Sox pitching and defense.
He stole a total of five bases and drove in five runs. Davis had three double and one triple and had zero home runs. He totaled ten hits and scored five runs himself.
He did this in just eight games compared to Bautista's 18 games.