More thoughtful comments on Red Sox past. John Valentin had a breakout season in 1995 which landed him megabucks. Unfortunately he never again achieved the same proficiency, although he did have a terrific ALDS and solid ALCS in 1999.
My recollection of Valentin was as a solid but unspectacular defensive player, but as I recall he moved (pretty much kicking and screaming) to third base to make way for Nomar Garciaparra.
In some ways, I wonder if Bill James would consider him a prototypical player, peaking not far from age 27 and declining steadily from there. Serious knee injuries contributed to his decline, but isn't that a part of sports, too (ability and durability - the Patriots Way).