Boston Red Sox: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in the Second Half

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Boston Red Sox: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in the Second Half
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The left side of the infield hasn't performed as expected.

At 53-37, the Boston Red Sox are the best team in the AL East. 

While most expected a rebound from the 69-93 debacle in Boston last season, even the most optimistic Red Sox fans were probably hoping their team would simply be competitive. 

Of course, the Sox have been much more than adequate, sporting the best offense in baseball, while also demonstrating pitching depth that has been absent in recent years.  Nonetheless, there are still nearly three months left in the season, and as 2011 showed, it only takes one bad month to submarine a team's campaign.

It's not always easy to find disappointments on a first-place team. If the following five Red Sox players rebound to their preseason expectations, it's not unreasonable to believe that they could propel Boston from being a very good team to being an elite team.

 

*All stats courtesy Fangraphs.com. and updated as of Wednesday, July 10.

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