When Ortiz was signed by the Red Sox in January of 2003 he could have been had by any team for almost nothing. At 26 and with six big league seasons and parts of seven seasons in the minors, Ortiz was cast aside by the Minnesota Twins. In retrospect, given what we know about minor league stats and projections to the majors, it should have been obvious that Ortiz would be a really good major league hitter, given the opportunity. He hit 31 homers and had a .940 OPS at three levels of the minor leagues at the age of 21. Two years later he belted 30 homers for Salt Lake in AAA-ball, had an OBP of .412, and an OPS over 1.000. He wasn’t, as the Twins thought, a platoon player who could never stay healthy or play defense. No, he never has been a great first baseman, but he proved himself as a clutch performer, coming up with several huge hits for the Red Sox in the post-season, which I don’t need to list here because they are very well documented.
With all the firepower the Red Sox have had in their lineups over the years, Ortiz is the only player to have hit 40 or more homers in three consecutive seasons for Boston.