While the Boston Red Sox did not experience the team success everyone was expecting back in spring training, there were many individual accomplishments that kept the fans interested in the season and provide hope for next season. There was Adrian Beltre reviving his career with a stellar line of .321 28 and 102. There were breakout seasons by the two young studs on the pitching staff with Jon Lester, who went 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA and five brilliant starts in September when the Red Sox needed him most before throwing a clunker in his meaningless last start, and Clay Buchholz, who went 17.7 with a 2.33 ERA. However the best individual performance came from a young 20 year old prospect.
Ryan Westmoreland was the top prospect in the Red Sox farm system, with websites such as soxprospects.com comparing him to Grady Sizemore (the 2006 version). Unfortunately, as many have surely heard, Ryan Westmoreland was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation in his brain stem in March. The problem required a high risk surgical procedure which could even guarantee Westmoreland's life let alone another shot at baseball. If the surgery was successful he would have needed rehab in all aspects of life, such walking, motor skills, even speech. Yet today it has been reported he can be seen taking batting practice and participating in some soft toss batting drills and is hitting hard line drives at will. It seems his road to recovery is going exponentially faster than everyone originally would have thought because Westmoreland is not going to settle for just being able to walk regularly again. He wants to be the star he was going to be before the diagnosis.
This wonderful story of recovery is something a Red Sox fan should be proud of. It is wonderful to know a young player in this organization has such resilience and desire to back on the field. Having that type of drive will surely lead this young man to great things (see Jon Lester after coming back from cancer). Having young players with that type of will is something that resonates through an organization. It shows players like Lester and Westmoreland truly love the game of baseball and wanting to be the best they can be. To me, Ryan Westmoreland is a person everyone, no matter what team you root for, should be hoping can do the impossible and make it as a star in the big leagues one day, which is why he is my MVP of the Red Sox entire organization. I should end this by saying he will one day be a very special player and do great things, but in reality, he already has.