At 41-27, the Boston Red Sox have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season as they put to rest the memories of their dismal 2012 season.
Currently sitting atop the AL East as co-owners of the second-best record in the majors, the Red Sox have done it with a nice mixture of hitting (leading the majors in runs scored by a healthy margin) and solid pitching (12th in MLB in ERA).
The major reason for their success this season has been the fact that players who many assumed would be fringe contributors at best have emerged as key cogs in the offense and pitching.
While players like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have played as well as expected, others like Mike Carp were a question mark to even make the team, let alone be key factors.
Whether the Sox can maintain this pace all season is another story. For now, they are happy to ride their unexpected contributions and sit on top of their highly competitive division.
Here are five Red Sox players who are proving their doubters wrong.