Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts wins fifth career Silver Slugger Award

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was named a 2022 Silver Slugger Award winner on Thursday night. The announcement was made on MLB Network.

Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers were both named finalists at their respective positions last month. The former beat out Toronto’s Bo Bichette, Minnesota’s Carolos Correa, and Texas’ Corey Seager while the latter came up short against Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez.

In the National League, former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts won his second silver Slugger Award as a member of the Dodgers and his fifth overall. Kyle Schwarber, on the other hand, won his first career Silver Slugger Award as a member of the Phillies.

This is Bogaerts’ fifth career Silver Slugger Award and his third in the last four seasons. The 30-year-old infielder becomes just the fourth player in Red Sox history to win at least five Silver Sluggers with the club, joining David Ortiz (7), Wade Boggs (6), and Manny Ramirez (5). He also becomes the fifth shortstop to win at least five Silver Sluggers since the award was first introduced in 1980.

Bogaerts finished third in the American League batting title race this season behind Minnesota’s Luiz Arraez and New York’s Aaron Judge, who also received Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday. In 150 games with Boston, the right-handed hitter slashed .307/.377/.456 with 38 doubles, 15 home runs, 73 RBIs, 84 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 57 walks, and 118 strikeouts over 631 plate appearances.

Among qualified American League shortstops, Bogaerts ranked first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage, second in OPS (.833), first in wOBA (.363), and second in wRC+ (134), per FanGraphs.

Bogaerts officially become a free agent on Monday after opting out of the final three years and $60 million of his contract. The Red Sox extended the native Aruban a $19.65 million qualifying offer on Thursday, but he is expected to reject it within the next 10 days in order to pursue a more lucrative, longer-term deal on the open market.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers named finalists for 2022 All-MLB Team

Red Sox infielders Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have been named finalists for the 2022 All-MLB Team, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday.

Bogaerts was one of 10 shortstops selected to the ballot while Devers was one of nine third basemen. The two teammates are already up for Silver Slugger Awards at their respective positions in the American League.

While Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards recognize the top offensive and defensive player at each position in each league, the purpose of the All-MLB Team is to commemorate the best players at each position across baseball for what they did during the regular season.

Since its inception in 2019, three different Red Sox players have earned All-MLB honors. Bogaerts was a first-team selection at shortstop three years ago while Devers and outfielder Mookie Betts were second-team selections in 2021 and 2019, respectively.

Betts is yet again up for All-MLB recognition after another All-Star season with the Dodgers. The same can be said for two more familiar faces in the Brewers’ Hunter Renfroe and the Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber.

Fans have until 5 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, November 22, to vote for who they think should make the fourth-annual All-MLB team. Fan voting accounts for 50 percent of the vote. The other 50 percent will be made up by a baseball media panel.

Of the 116 players who were selected as finalists on Thursday, only 32 will be named to the first- or second-team. Those winners will be revealed during the Winter Meetings from San Diego on Monday, December 5.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox infielders Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers named Silver Slugger Award finalists

Red Sox infielders Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have been named finalists for 2022 Silver Slugger Awards, Louisville Slugger and Major League Baseball announced on Thursday.

Bogaerts is a finalist at shortstop along with Toronto’s Bo Bichette, Minnesota’s Carlos Correa, and Texas’ Corey Seager. He has already won the award on four separate occasions (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021).

Devers is a finalist at third base along with Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, Houston’s Alex Bregman, and Toronto’s Matt Chapman. He won the award for the first time last year. And so Devers and Bogaerts will be looking to go back-to-back at their respective positions.

Already a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, Bogaerts finished third in the American League batting title race this season. The right-handed hitter batted a stout .307/.377/.456 with 38 doubles, 15 home runs, 73 RBIs, 84 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 57 walks, and 118 strikeouts over 150 games and 631 plate appearances.

Between the three other shortstops he will be competing with, Bogaerts ranked first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage, second in OPS (.833), first in wOBA (.363), and second in wRC+ (134), per FanGraphs.

Devers, meanwhile, is already a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award. The left-handed hitter slashed .295/.358/.521 with 42 doubles, one triple, 27 home runs, 88 RBIs, 84 runs scored, three stolen bases, 50 walks, and 114 strikeouts across 141 games (614 plate appearances) for the Red Sox this season.

In terms of how he stacked up against the three other third base finalists, Devers ranked first in batting average, second in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS (.879), first in wOBA (.373), and first in wRC+ (141), according to FanGraphs.

The group of outfield finalists from the National League includes three former Red Sox in the Brewers’ Hunter Renfroe, the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, and the Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber.

Silver Slugger Awards have been handed out since 1980 to recognize the best offensive players at each position in each league. Voting is conducted by major-league managers and coaches, though they cannot vote for players on their own teams.

This year’s Silver Slugger Award winners will be revealed on Thursday, November 10 during an hour-long special on MLB Network that begins at 6 p.m. eastern time.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts named Gold Glove Award finalist

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been named a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Bogaerts was named an American League finalist for the second time in his career and for the first time since 2015. The 30-year-old infielder will be vying for his first Gold Glove Award while going up against Astros rookie Jeremy Pena and Twins star Carlos Correa.

Between the three of them this season, Bogaerts ranked first in games started (146), innings played (1,249 2/3), putouts (171), assists (401), double plays (74), Ultimate Zone Rating (4.9), and tied for first in fielding percentage (.983). He also ranked second in Defensive Runs Saved (4) and Outs Above Average (5), per FanGraphs.

As those numbers indicate, it was a standout year for Bogaerts defensively. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder out of Aruba has been regularly critiqued for his fielding abilities since breaking in with the Red Sox as a 20-year-old in 2013. But he proved the doubters wrong this season by putting up career highs in Defensive Runs Saved, Ultimate Zone Rating, and Outs Above Average.

Bogaerts, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this winter, will be looking to become the first Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove Award since Mookie Betts did so in 2019. Pena is also going for his first while Correa will be aiming to win it for the second year in a row.

Betts, meanwhile, was once again named a finalist in the National League for the defensive work he did in right field for the Dodgers this season. Circling back to the American League, two more former Red Sox outfielders were named finalists as well.

Jackie Bradley Jr., who closed out the year with the Blue Jays after being released by Boston in August, has the chance to win his second Gold Glove Award. Andrew Benintendi, who was traded from the Royals to the Yankees in July, has the chance to go back-to-back after taking home his first Gold Glove Award in Kansas City last season.

Gold Glove Awards have been handed out since 1957 to honor the best defenders at each position in each league. Voting is conducted by major-league managers and coaches (who are only allowed to vote within their league and cannot vote for players on their own teams) as well the sabermetrics community. The former accounts for 75 percent of the vote while the latter makes up the other 25 percent.

This year’s winners will be unveiled during an hour-long special edition of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” leading up to Game 4 of the 2022 World Series on Tuesday, November 1.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Who is Eybersson Polanco? Get to know the Red Sox’ Latin Program Pitcher of the Year

In similar fashion to Andy Lugo, Eybersson Polanco was named the Red Sox’ Latin Program Pitcher of the Year last month.

Polanco, 19, made 12 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Red this season. The right-hander posted a 1.78 ERA and 2.96 FIP to go along with 50 strikeouts to 17 walks over 50 2/3 innings of work. He led his team in strikeouts and WHIP (0.95) and represented them in the Dominican Summer League All-Star Game in July.

Among 31 qualified DSL pitchers this year, Polanco ranked 15th in walks per nine innings (3.02), 13th in strikeout rate (25.8%), fourth in batting average against (.177), fifth in WHIP, 13th in groundball rate (46.2%), fourth in ERA, third in FIP, and 11th in xFIP (3.42), per FanGraphs.

Like Lugo, there is not much information available on Polanco since he only just completed his first professional season. The Red Sox originally signed the 6-foot, 170-pound righty out of Venezuela last July. He received a $50,000 bonus while fellow countryman Jedixson Paez netted $450,000, making him the highest-paid pitcher from the club’s 2021 international signing class.

Paez, who earned Latin Program Pitcher of the Year last season, was signed by Angel Escobar in January 2021. Polanco, on the other hand, was signed by Lenin Rodriguez six months later.

Given that he just turned 19 in September, it feels safe to assume that Polanco still has plenty of room to grow. That applies to his physical maturation, mechanics, and pitch arsenal, among other things.

Polanco is projected by SoxProspects.com to make the jump to the Florida Complex League in 2023. Paez made strides in Fort Myers this year and is now regarded by the site as the No. 12 pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. Perhaps Polanco can do the same beginning next summer.

(Picture of Eybersson Polanco via his Facebook)

Who is Andy Lugo? Get to know the Red Sox’ Latin Program Position Player of the Year

Last month, Andy Lugo was named the Red Sox’ Latin Program Position Player of the Year after a successful debut season in the Dominican Summer League.

Appearing in 56 games for the club’s DSL Blue affiliate, Lugo batted an impressive .318/.368/.414 to go along with 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 30 RBIs, 52 runs scored, 21 stolen bases, 11 walks, and 35 strikeouts. The right-handed hitting 18-year-old led his team in hits (70), total bases (91), runs scored, and stolen bases.

Among those in the Dominican Summer League who made at least 200 trips to the plate this season, Lugo ranked ninth in batting average, 19th in strikeout rate (14.5%), 10th in speed score (8.4), 33rd in line-drive rate (21.8%), and 47th in wRC+ (114), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Lugo saw playing time at four different positions over the summer. The versatile 5-foot-11, 160-pounder logged 18 innings at second base, 51 innings at third base, 123 2/3 innings in left field, and 179 innings in center. His six outfield assists were tied for second-most on the DSL Red Sox Blue behind only Albertson Asigen’s eight.

The Red Sox originally signed Lugo as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic last July. The San Cristobal native netted a modest $10,000 signing bonus, which pales in comparison to what the club’s top signee from the 2021 class — fellow countryman Miguel Bleis — received ($1.5 million). Bleis was signed by Jonathan Cruz while Lugo was signed by Esau Medina.

Given that his professional career has only just begun, there is not too much information available when it comes to Lugo’s scouting profile. He is unsurprisingly not yet regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system.

While that could certainly change with time, Lugo does not turn 19 until next March and presumably still has room to grow both physically and developmentally. He is projected by SoxProspects.com to make the jump to the Florida Complex League in 2023, so perhaps he will benefit from more exposure stateside.

(Picture of Andy Lugo via his Instagram)

Red Sox’ Rafael Devers named to All-MLB Second Team

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was named to the 2021 All-MLB Second Team on Tuesday night, as revealed on MLB Network.

Devers was originally one of six Red Sox players selected as a finalist for the third annual All-MLB team earlier this month, joining teammates Xander Bogaerts, Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, J.D. Martinez, and Garrett Whitlock.

While the other five were unable to land on one of the two All-MLB squads, Devers was recognized as the second team’s starting third baseman after Braves third baseman Austin Riley received first-team honors.

For Devers, this marks the first time in which he has been selected to an All-MLB team since the concept was introduced in 2019 to “give a more comprehensive honor that covered the full breadth of a big league season, complementing the All-Star Game selections that are awarded just past the season’s halfway point.” Voting was conducted by both fans and a panel of experts.

Being named to the 2021 All-MLB Second Team is not all Devers has accomplished this off-season, as he also took home his first career Silver Slugger Award and finished 11th in American League Most Valuable Player voting.

A first-time All-Star in 2021, the 25-year-old slashed .279/.352/.538 to go along with 37 doubles, one triple, a career-high 38 home runs, 113 RBIs, 101 runs scored, five stolen bases, 62 walks, and 143 strikeouts over 156 games spanning 664 plate appearances.

Among qualified big-league third basemen this year, the left-handed hitting Devers ranked first in home runs, first in RBIs, second in runs scored, second in isolated power (.259), second in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, second in wOBA (.373), third in wRC+ (134), and second in fWAR (4.7), per FanGraphs.

Heading into the winter, Devers is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $11.1 million in 2022, which is a significant raise from the $4.575 he made this season.

With Devers under club control for the next two years, it is worth mentioning that his fellow infield partner in Bogaerts can opt out of the final three years of his contract at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.

Taking those two situations into consideration, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was asked on Monday about where things stand in regards to extension talks with Bogaerts and Devers.

“As always with any type of contract talks with players in-house, we wouldn’t comment unless and until there’s something to announce,” Bloom said. “But you know where we stand on both guys. They are critical, critical parts of our organization. Huge parts of past success here and hopefully parts of future success for a long time.”

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers named Silver Slugger Award winners

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers were each named Silver Slugger Award winners by Louisville Slugger and Major League Baseball on Thursday night. The announcement was made on MLB Network.

Per MLB.com, “the Silver Slugger recognizes the best offensive players at each position in each league. The winners are voted upon by Major League managers and coaches, who are unable to vote for players on their own teams.”

Bogaerts, who was named one of three finalists for American League shortstops last month, takes home his fourth career Silver Slugger Award after beating out Houston’s Carlos Correa, Chicago’s Tim Anderson, and Toronto’s Bo Bichette for the honors.

This past season, the 29-year-old was named to his third American League All-Star team while slashing an impressive .295/.370/.493 (130 wRC+) with 34 doubles, one triple, 23 home runs, 79 RBI, 90 runs scored, five stolen bases, 62 walks, and 113 strikeouts over 144 games and 603 trips to the plate.

Among qualified American League shortstops, Bogaerts ranked fourth in batting average, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in weighted on-base average (.368), and second in weighted runs created plus.

Devers, meanwhile, made his first American League All-Star team this season and he was just recognized as a Silver Slugger Award winner for the first time in his career on Thursday. He beat out Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez and Seattle’s Kyle Seager by doing so.

Regularly playing to the right of Bogaerts and manning third base for the Red Sox, Devers slashed .279/.352/.538 (134 wRC+) to go along with 37 doubles, one triple, 38 home runs, 113 RBI, 101 runs scored, five stolen bases, 62 walks, and 143 strikeouts over 156 games spanning 664 plate appearances.

Among qualified third basemen in the junior circuit this year, the 25-year-old ranked first in home runs, first in RBI, second in runs scored, second in isolated power (.259), first in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in weighted on-base average (.373), and second in weighted runs created plus, per FanGraphs.

With Bogaerts and Devers taking home Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday, the pair of infielders become the fourth American League shortstop/third baseman teammates to win the award in the same season since its inception in 1980.

According to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long, Bogaerts becomes the fifth shortstop in major-league history to win at least four Silver Slugger Awards. He has now also won the fourth-most Silver Sluggers in team history behind only David Ortiz (7), Wade Boggs (6), and Manny Ramirez (6).

(Picture of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

6 Red Sox players, including Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, selected as finalists for 2021 All-MLB team

Six different Red Sox players were selected as nominees to make Major League Baseball’s 2021 All-MLB team on Wednesday night.

Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Enrique Hernandez, J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber, and Garrett Whitlock represent six of the 103 players with the opportunity to make the league’s third annual All-MLB team.

Of those on the Sox who made the cut, Bogaerts is one of 10 shortstops, Devers is one of seven third baseman, Hernandez and Schwarber are two of 18 outfielders, Martinez is one of five designated hitters, and Whitlock is one of 16 relievers.

With six nominees, the Red Sox have the fourth-highest total in the American League behind only the White Sox (nine finalists), Astros (seven finalists), and Blue Jays (seven finalists).

First introduced in 2019, the purpose of the All-MLB team is to recognize the best players at each position across both the American and National League while also splitting them into a First and Second Team.

Since its inception two years ago, only two Red Sox players have received All-MLB honors, as both Bogaerts and former Boston outfielder Mookie Betts were named to the inaugural first and second teams at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign.

After not having a single player make it last year, the Sox will be well represented this time around. Bogaerts has a strong chance to make his second All-MLB team, while his five teammates (including Schwarber) will be going for their first All-MLB nods, respectively.

Voting for the All-MLB team runs through 5 p.m. eastern time on November 19. Fan voting, which can be done by following this link, accounts for 50% of the vote. The other 50% comes from a panel of experts.

The field of players who were announced as finalists on Wednesday will be whittled down to 32 — or two teams consisting of 16 players each — by the time voting ends next Friday.

Winners will then be announced on MLB Network on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 23. This was previously done during the Winter Meetings, which typically take place in December, but the impending work stoppage must have forced a change of plans.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Was Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi snubbed in American League Cy Young Award race?

The three finalists for the American League Cy Young Award were unveiled by the Baseball Writers Association of America on MLB Network on Monday night. Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was not one of them.

Instead, Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole, White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn, and Blue Jays left-hander Robbie Ray were announced as the three finalists for the award. The winner will be revealed on November 17 at 6 p.m. eastern time.

While Cole, Lynn, and Ray are each up for their first career Cy Young Awards, Eovaldi would have been as well — and rightfully so.

2021 marked Eovaldi’s third full season with the Sox after coming over in a July 2018 trade with the Rays and signing a lucrative four-year, $68 million contract extension later that winter to remain in Boston.

Across 32 starts this year, the 31-year-old righty posted a 3.75 ERA and 2.79 FIP to go along with 195 strikeouts to 35 walks over 182 1/3 total innings of work while emerging as Boston’s true ace.

Among qualified American League pitchers this season, Eovaldi ranked fourth in innings pitched, first in walks per nine innings (1.73), first in walk rate (4.6%), eighth in ERA, first in FIP (2.79), third in xFIP (3.48), fourth in SIERA (3.60), third in xERA (3.37), and first in fWAR (5.6), per FanGraphs.

Still, despite putting up those positive results, Eovaldi was seemingly snubbed from the American League Cy Young race without making it to the final group of three that consists of Cole, Lynn, and Ray.

If you were to include Eovaldi in there and make it a group of four, the fireballer would lead the pack in several categories including fWAR, FIP, walks per nine innings, and walk rate.

That being said, Eovaldi also produced the highest ERA and BABIP (.326), or batting average on balls in play, of the group. This can mainly be attributed to bad luck and poor defense being played behind him. The Red Sox did lead the American League in errors (108), after all.

Even while taking all those points into consideration, Eovaldi — who turns 32 in February — was not named a Cy Young finalist at the end of the day. He will still appear on plenty of ballots come next Tuesday, but may have ultimately deserved more recognition for the impressive 2021 campaign he just put together.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)