But, if it had been up to me, I would have given the ball to Felix Doubront. That's how impressive Doubront looked pitching in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. His stuff was electric, and Doubront seemed to rise to the occasion when he was on the mound.
One of the most revealing things about this Red Sox title was how many players had a hand in bringing this trophy home to Boston.
Doubront in particular was one of the true unsung heroes for his performance in Games 3 and 4, when the series had shifted back to St. Louis. The championship easily could have gotten away from the Red Sox, especially after the shocking Game 3 loss due to the obstruction call on Will Middlebrooks.
The 4.2 innings that Doubront pitched for the Red Sox in Games 3 and 4 gave Boston a chance to win both games. They also allowed manager John Farrell to use Junichi Tazawa, Brandon Workman and Koji Uehara in the right spots later in the game. The fact that Farrell had the confidence to put Doubront in those situations speaks volumes to his development this year.
For Doubront, it was a coming-out party on a national stage.
He has always had the talent and stuff to be a No. 3 starter, but his consistency, conditioning and control have seemed to hinder his progress. The 25-year-old lefty has managed to win 11 games in each of the last two seasons while pitching for Boston.
But, in the playoffs, Doubront was different. He was aggressive and threw strikes. He pitched in four games and totaled seven innings. In those seven innings, he only gave up three hits and a run. It was the right moment to start scratching the surface on his potential.
While the media was focusing on the impressive young pitching that the Cardinals consistently had on display, Doubront went overlooked as a young left-handed starter who had already made 59 major league starts by the age of 25.
The question now for the Red Sox is whether Doubront can build on these performances and take this positive momentum and build on it next season. Doubront needs to cut down on his career average of four walks per nine innings, which will allow him to work deeper into games and reach 200 innings for the first time in his career.
If Doubront has turned a corner in his development and can take the next step, it would be a huge development for the Red Sox. Having a second effective left-handed starter in the AL East could be a huge development for Boston.
When spring training comes around, Doubront will be one of the key players to keep a very close eye on.
Information used from Baseball Reference.