Mookie Betts Is Named 2018 American League MVP.

For the first time in his career, Mookie Betts is an MVP, as announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Thursday evening.

He finished second in voting in 2016, sixth in voting in 2017, but now, the 26-year-old can finally add a Most Valuable Player trophy to his impressive collection.

Coming into the 2018 season as one of the more established outfielders in all of baseball alongside Angels center fielder Mike Trout, the three-time All-Star got his MVP campaign off to a scorching start that he would not have to look back from.

Ending his fourth full year in the bigs with a gaudy .346/.438/.640 slash line to go along with a career-high 32 home runs, 80 RBI and a league-leading 129 runs scored over 136 games, Betts officially received 28 of the 30 first place votes.

Already the recipient of his second Silver Slugger and third Gold Glove Award earlier in the month, the Tennessee native has had himself quite the offseason.

A World Series champion for the first time…

A father for the first time…

And now, an MVP for the first time…

So, congratulations to Mookie Betts, someone who worked his way from a fifth round pick out of high school in the 2011 amateur draft all the way to one of the best all-around players in the American League. Perhaps a hefty contract extension is in order sometime in the coming months?

Betts’ teammate, JD Martinez, who was not listed as one of the three finalists on the American League ballot, officially finished fourth in AL MVP voting.

 

 

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Mookie Betts and JD Martinez Collect Three Silver Slugger Awards as Award Season Rolls on for #RedSox.

On Thursday, Major League Baseball continued its award circuit by announcing the 18 recipients of the 2018 Silver Slugger Award presented by Louisville Slugger.

Voted on by managers and coaches throughout baseball, the Red Sox led the way for the American League with three winners, although there is a catch to that.

Mookie Betts and JD Martinez finished with the first and second best batting average in the AL over the course of the 2018 regular season, and that paid off with three total Silver Sluggers being awarded to them on Thursday evening.

For Betts, this is the second time he has received the honor in his career, with the first one coming in 2016.

Among qualified American League outfielders, the 26-year-old finished fifth in home runs (32), first in AVG (.346), first in SLG (.640), first in runs scored (129), and second in wRC+ (185), per FanGraphs.

Along with Betts, fellow Red Sox teammate JD Martinez made some history on Thursday by becoming the first player ever to win multiple Silver Sluggers at different positions in the same season.

Claiming awards at both DH and in the outfield, Martinez finished his first year in Boston as one of the most dangerous bats in the American League, yet was not named an MVP finalist.

In 93 games at DH, the Florida native posted a .297/.373/.597 slash line to go along with 27 home runs and 79 RBI.

As an outfielder, Martinez was surprisingly better at the plate, as he hit his way to a 1.130 OPS as well as 16 homers and 51 RBI over 57 games played.

Also the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award for his offensive production in 2018, this is the second time Martinez has been awarded a Silver Slugger Award, with the first coming in 2015 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Next up in the award season circuit, Alex Cora, fresh off a World Series title and all, will look to become the third American League Manager of the Year to represent the Red Sox since the awards inception in 1983.

The winner for that is set to be announced on Tuesday, November 13th.

Alex Cora Named Manager of the Year Finalist, Mookie Betts Named American League MVP Finalist.

One night after Ian Kinsler, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for their defensive prowess at their respective positions, the Red Sox were back it again on Monday in the thick of award season.

This time, two of the best at what they do were named finalists for some decently important awards.

First, first-year manager Alex Cora, fresh off leading his team to their ninth World Series title just over a week ago, was named one of the four finalists for Manager of the Year.

In a field that also consists of Athletics manager Bob Melvin, Rockies manager Bud Black, and Brewers manager Craig Counsell, Cora sticks out as the only rookie manager on this impressive lost of baseball minds.

Taking over a team that had won back-to-back American League East titles for the first time in its franchise’s history, the native of Puerto Rico went ahead and set the club’s all-time record in regular season wins (108).

Cora’s Red Sox didn’t bat an eye in October either, as they went a stunning 11-3 run to clinch another World Series title, making their mark as one of the more dominant baseball teams ever assembled.

On the player side of the award announcements, neither Chris Sale nor JD Martinez were named finalists in AL Cy Young and AL MVP consideration, but as was expected by many, Mookie Betts was named as one of the three finalists in the junior circuit for the second time in three seasons.

In his age 25 season, the three-time All-Star led the American League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.640), and runs scored (129), as well as setting a new career high in home runs with 32 of them in 2018.

Along with Betts, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez were named as MVP finalists.

I was a tad bit flustered that JD Martinez was not named given how much he meant to the Red Sox this season, but all will be forgiven if Betts claims his first ever MVP crown on November 11th.

Next up in the award season circuit is the Silver Slugger Award, whose winners are set to be announced on November 8th.

Let’s hand out some #RedSox regular season awards.

I’ll be honest, last night’s game doesn’t seem blogworthy. The Red Sox got blown out by the Astros and there were essentially no positives to take away. Mitch Moreland hit his 22nd home run of the season and Xander Bogaerts drove in his 62nd RBI of the season in the second inning. Those were the only runs scored on one side, while the other scored TWELVE times. Eduardo Rodriguez was awful, the bullpen wasn’t much better, and the Red Sox lost an ugly one. That marks three losses over the past four days, but the magic number is down to one and the Yankees play a 1:00 game today. So, the Red Sox could be division champions before they even take the field tonight.

Okay, I guess I couldn’t resist recapping the game in some way, now let’s move ahead to something more positive: regular season awards. There were a good amount of disappointing performances this season, but still a lot of positives can be taken away. We’ll start with Most Valuable Player, of course.

MVP: Chris Sale

Pretty obvious choice here. The Red Sox are not where they are now if you take Chris Sale out of the picture.

Best season at the plate: Mookie Betts

Not as good as 2016 where he finished his second in MVP voting, but still a solid year for the right fielder. Another season with 20+ home runs and 100+ RBIs.

Most disappointing season at the plate: Hanley Ramirez

Coming off maybe his best year ever, Hanley was beyond disappointing. OBP has been below .400 all year, power numbers are down, has not been a good DH.

Most improved pitcher: Drew Pomeranz

Even with his last start, Pomeranz has been one of the best pitchers in the American League since that start he made in Oakland back in May. I never would have thought Pomeranz would be #2 behind Sale in any rotation, but here we are.

Most disappointing on the mound: Rick Porcello

Coming off a Cy Young Award winning campaign, Porcello failed to live up to any lofty expectations put on him. There were great starts sprinkled in there, and I still felt confident in him, but he just didn’t have it this year.

Most improved at the plate: Christian Vazquez

What a year for Vazqy. Hit that walk off home run against the Indians, has pretty much taken over the starting catcher role, and he gets hits in bunches. BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS are at the best they’ve ever been for the 27 year-old, and it’s too bad he doesn’t enough AB’s to register for the Silver Slugger because he deserves serious consideration.

Best newcomer: Eduardo Nunez

He hasn’t played a lot recently because of knee issues, but he was quite the spark plug when he came over from San Francisco in July. If this team wants to have any success in the postseason, I think they need him in the lineup everyday.

Best out of the ‘pen: Craig Kimbrel

No explanation needed given how dominant he has been this season.

Rookie of the year: Andrew Benintendi

If it weren’t for Aaron Judge, Benny would win AL ROY. For now, he’ll have to take team ROY as consolation. 20 Home runs and hopefully 90 RBIs in your first full season is quite the feat. And he also plays a tough position in his home ballpark. The best is yet to come, but I was really impressed with the way Benintendi played this year.

That does it for the awards. If you think I missed anything let me know.

Twitter.com/brendan_camp