Sam Fuld is a Durham, N.H. native and alumnus of Exeter Academy. On Monday night, he made his first career visit to Fenway Park as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays got their second win of the season by defeating the Red Sox 16-5. Fuld stood out in a game surrounded by conversation about Carl Crawford facing his former team, Johnny Damon’s return to Fenway and of course the Manny Ramirez saga.

Fuld went 4-6 with three runs and two RBI in the Rays’ win, and was a single shy of becoming the second Rays player to hit for the cycle. Fuld has continued to turn heads since his arrival in Tampa.

He was drafted in 2004 by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th round, and made his major league debut on September 5, 2007. He came to the Rays as part of the trade for pitcher Matt Garza. 

Fuld has surpassed most expectations so far.

It was expected that he would compete and have a chance for a backup outfield roster spot. After he made his first Opening Day roster this season, the sudden retirement of Manny Ramirez opened a window of opportunity that Fuld has taken full advantage of.

On April 7th he got his first start in left field. He also batted leadoff for the first time in his career.

Fuld’s speed will make him a perfect fit for the way the Rays have played under Joe Maddon. Coming into Monday night’s game against Boston, his five steals led the American League.

Fuld had three 20-steal seasons in the minors but only two steals in 98 games with the Cubs.

Along with his speed, he has shown a killer defensive instinct. Fuld may not be Carl Crawford but he has been making some sensational plays in left field for the Rays.

He made the MLB Network’s play of the week with his diving catch at the warning track Friday at U.S. Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox. His catch came with the bases loaded and ended the fourth inning.

The Rays may not be the team they were in 2010, but with players like Sam Fuld developing they will work their way back to the top of the American League East.

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