Mike Lowell had one of the best seasons for a Red Sox third-baseman since Wade Boggs. He hit .324, which was good for 7th in the AL. He led the team in RBI with 120, which was also 5th in the AL. He hit .353 in the playoffs, and .400 in the World Series. He had 15 post-season RBI and was named World Series MVP.
Lowell was also very consistent last year. He only had one month in which he hit below .300, and only two months with fewer than 20 RBI.
One could very easily make the argument that he was the MVP of the team.
He'll be 34 this year, but there's no reason to think he'll be slowing down. He's found a niche in Boston. He hit .373 in Fenway last year, with 14 of his 21 HRs, and 73 of his 120 RBIs.
Lowell has also become a Yankee Killer. He hit .324 in the Bronx last year, and .382 against the Yankees. He had more RBIs against New York (18) than against any other team.
Although JD Drew was brought in to hit 5th, Lowell will probably start the season in that slot. He hit an appalling .448 as a #5 hitter last year. Lowell is clutch, too. He hit .356 with runners in scoring position.
If JD Drew hits this year, Lowell moves down nicely to 6th, making the top two thirds of the Red Sox order one of the fiercest in baseball.
Since coming to the Sox in 2006, he's hit 41 HRs, 84 doubles, and knocked in 200 runs.
He'll be spelled from time to time by Youkilis, and possibly Cora. With Sean Casey available to cover first, he'll probably get more time off than he has the past few seasons. Last year he played in every game but 6. He's played in 150+ games for four straight seasons. This year that may change, depending on the production Casey provides as a backup.
Mike Lowell is simply a championship calibre player. He's not a mega-star, but he does his job day in, day out. I hate using the term blue collar for athletes (Lowell made $9M last year), but Lowell's as close as it comes.