Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
2012 RBI Leader: Adrian Gonzalez (86)
Three of Boston's four leading run producers in 2012—Adrian Gonzalez, Cody Ross and Mike Aviles—are no longer with the team, leaving Dustin Pedroia as the only holdover from 2012 who drove in at least 60 runs.
But in hitting second in Boston's lineup, Pedroia's run-producing opportunities are sure to be few and far between, leaving the bulk of the work for the bats that follow the All-Star second baseman.
David Ortiz would normally be the pick to lead the team in RBI, but with Big Papi still sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury that ended his 2012 season prematurely and no timetable for his return, it could be quite some time before we see him taking regular at-bats with the club.
Will Middlebrooks, who burst onto the scene last year, hitting .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI in only 75 games, also saw his 2012 campaign end prematurely due to injury—a broken wrist that essentially cost him the final two months of the season.
Unlike some youngsters who struggle under the pressure of having runners on base when they step to the plate, Middlebrooks embraced the role as a run producer. He hit .321 with 41 RBI when runners were in scoring position, and .333 with 49 RBI with runners on base.
Middlebrooks will continue to thrive with runners on base in 2013, marking the first season in what is sure to be a long career of being Boston's primary run producer.
Projected 2013 RBI Total: 82