An X-factor is not necessarily a team’s most important player. But he does all the little things.
Taking the extra base. Holding speedy runners to singles on balls hit in the gap. Drawing well-deserved walks.
And if an X-factor doesn’t execute, it makes it that much harder on his team's fortunes.
Boston’s 3–2 loss to Oakland on July 3 showed Ryan Kalish’s X-factor ability—for better and for worse. His aggression is what every team needs, but when it’s not harnessed, it can lead to errors both mental and literal.
But if he uses the strengths of his game properly, Kalish can contribute a lot of those little things that will put Boston back in the postseason discussion.
Five of his X-factor qualities follow.