The topic, which was somewhat spurred by the acquisition of Kevin Pillar — a wonderful defensive outfielder who would be a nice defensive complement to Jackie Bradley Jr. if I didn’t suspect he was actually here to replace him — is this:
Who are the best defensive players by position in Red Sox history?
I’ll admit, this exercise was more subjective than I expected. There are plenty of outstanding candidates throughout Red Sox lore at almost — almost — every position. I also realized I should know enough to admit what I don’t know. Old-timers swear by Jimmy Piersall in center field. His career ended two years before I was born, so I never saw him play, and Tony Perkins didn’t exactly mirror his athletic grace in “Fear Strikes Out.” I can’t imagine he was better than Jackie Bradley Jr. But I’m here for your argument.
Also, I mention Gold Gloves a lot. We know they’re not the perfect barometer since Derek Jeter won five of them, but they do help with context, at least when it comes to a player’s defensive reputation in his time.
Got it? Good. Now let’s imagine watching this nine spectacularly save some runs . . .
CATCHER: Carlton Fisk
This is one of the…