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)

Red Sox’ Hunter Renfroe named Gold Glove Award finalist

Three days after being named a finalist for a Silver Slugger Award on Monday, Hunter Renfroe now has the opportunity to add another trophy to his collection.

The Red Sox right fielder was additionally named a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, Rawlings and Major League Baseball announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Renfroe is up for his first career Gold Glove as he is recognized for the defensive season he put together out in right field alongside the likes of Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker and Yankees right fielder Joey Gallo.

Per MLB.com, the Gold Glove Award — which has been given out since 1957 —  “honors the best defenders at each position in each league.” Voting is divided up between major-league managers and coaches as well as the sabermetrics community.

In his first season with the Red Sox, Renfroe established himself as a dangerous threat to opposing base runners while logging 1,166 of his 1,213 defensive innings in right field.

The 29-year-old finished the year tied with Rangers rookie Adolis Garcia for the most outfield assists in the American League (16), though he also led all major-league outfielders in errors with 12.

Among the two other right fielders he is competing with, Renfroe ranked third in Defensive Runs Saved (0), third in Ultimate Zone Rating (-1.6), third in Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 Games (-2.1), and Outs Above Average (-1), per FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.

While the Sox finished with just one Gold Glove finalist, Enrique Hernandez can be viewed as a snub the same way J.D. Martinez was for the Silver Slugger Awards earlier this week.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Hernandez was eligible for a Gold Glove Award in center field, he just simply was not named a finalist despite playing 716 innings at the position.

Of the seven American League centerfielders who logged at least 700 innings this season, Hernandez ranked second in outfield assists (eight), second in Defensive Runs Saved (14), third in Ultimate Zone Rating (7.4), tied for second in Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 Games (12.1), and fifth in Outs Above Average (nine), according to FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.

With Renfroe being named a finalist, it is also worth mentioning that a trio of former Red Sox were as well. Brewers center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. will be going for his second career Gold Glove Award, Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts will be going for his sixth, and Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi will be going for his first.

As noted by Cotillo, if Renfroe were to take home his first Gold Glove Award, he would become the first Red Sox player to do so since 2018.

That being said, the award winners will be announced on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, November 7.

(Picture of Hunter Renfroe: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Hunter Renfroe named Silver Slugger Award finalists

Three Red Sox hitters have been named as finalists for Silver Slugger Awards at their respective positions, Louisville Slugger and Major League Baseball announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Hunter Renfroe were each recognized for the seasons they put together at the plate, as “the Silver Slugger recognizes the best offensive players at each position in each league.”

Devers, who is up for his first career Silver Slugger Award, is coming off a 2021 campaign in which he 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.

The recently-turned 24-year-old third baseman was also named to his first career All-Star team over the summer and now finishes alongside the likes of Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez and Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager.

Of those three, Devers ranked first in batting average, second in on-base percentage, tied for first in slugging percentage, first in weighted on-base average (.373), and second in weighted runs created plus, per FanGraphs.

Bogaerts, meanwhile, is up for for his fourth career Silver Slugger Award as he, too, is just a few weeks removed from an All-Star season in which he posted 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.

The 29-year-old shortstop was named a finalist on Monday along with Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, and Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette.

Among that quartet, Bogaerts ranked third 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.

Renfroe, on the other hand, is up for his first career Silver Slugger Award after enjoying a breakout campaign in his first year with the Red Sox.

Across 144 games, the 29-year-old hit a steady .259/.315/.501 (114 wRC+) to go along with 33 doubles, 31 home runs, 96 runs driven in, 89 runs scored, one stolen base, 44 walks, and 130 strikeouts in 572 total plate appearances.

One of eight American League outfielders to be recognized as a finalist with Cedric Mullions of the Orioles, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of the Blue Jays, Aaron Judge of the Yankees, Kyle Tucker of the Astros, Mitch Haniger of the Mariners, and Randy Arozarena of the Rays, Renfroe ranked seventh among this group in batting average, eighth in slugging percentage, fifth in slugging percentage, sixth in weighted on-base average (.344), and seventh in weighted runs created plus.

While Boston finishing with three finalists means they have among the most in the American League, one could make the case that designated hitter J.D. Martinez was snubbed from the list.

Martinez would have ben going for his fourth career Silver Slugger Award, but instead missed the cut behind the likes of Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani, Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, Yankees mashers Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo, and Rays veteran Nelson Cruz.

If you were to add Martinez to that group of five, though, the 34-year-old — who was also an All-Star this season — would actually rank first in batting average (.286), fourth in on-base percentage (.349), third in slugging percentage (.518), fourth in weighted on-base average (.364), and fourth in weighted runs created plus (128).

Per MLB.com, the winner for each Silver Slugger Award is voted on by major-league players and coaches “who are unable to vote for players on their own teams.”

The winners themselves will be revealed on MLB Network at 6 p.m. eastern time on November 11.

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

The 10 Best Red Sox Single-Season Performances of the 2010s

With the 2010s quickly coming to a close, I thought it would be interesting to look back on the decade that was for the Red Sox. In this first installment, we’ll start with the best single-season performances for Red Sox position players and pitchers alike from 2010 up until 2019. Let’s get to it.

10. Chris Sale’s 2018 season (6.2 fWAR)

It may have been shortened due to left shoulder inflammation, but Sale’s second season with the Red Sox was something to behold. In 27 starts for the eventual World Series champs, the left-hander posted a dazzling 2.11 ERA and 2.31 xFIP over 158 innings of work, all while punching out more than 38% of the hitters he faced in 2018.

Sale also recorded the final three outs of the World Series against the Dodgers that year. Not a bad way to wrap up what could have been a Cy Young Award-winning campaign had he stayed healthy all the way through.

9. Adrian Gonzalez’s 2011 season (6.2 fWAR)

Gonzalez might not have spent much time with Boston, but the first baseman made his only full season with the Red Sox count, slashing .338/.410/.548 with 27 home runs and 177 RBI while leading the American League in hits (217) in an All-Star year.

Acquired from the Padres in exchange for a package headlined by Anthony Rizzo, Gonzalez and the Sox agreed to a seven-year, $154 million contract extension that April, but eventually shipped him off to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade more than a year later.

8. Adrian Beltre’s 2010 season (6.4 fWAR)

Next month will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Red Sox and Beltre agreeing to a one-year, $10 million deal for the 2010 season, and what a season it was for the veteran third baseman looking to reset his value.

In 154 games that year, Beltre slashed .321/.365/.553 with 28 homers and 102 RBI to go along with a league-leading 49 doubles.

Ultimately finishing ninth in American League MVP voting, the Dominican Republic native went on to sign a five-year, $80 million deal with the Rangers, leaving many to wonder what could have been had Beltre remained in Boston past 2010.

7. Mookie Betts’ 2019 season (6.6 fWAR)

After taking home his first MVP Award the previous year, many would describe Betts’ 2019 as a “down” season. But in reality, the 27-year-old was as impressive as ever, slashing .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI, and a league-leading 135 runs scored over 150 games played.

Defensively speaking, Betts notched his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award for American League right fielders in what might have been his last full season in Boston depending on what happens between now and this coming July.

6. Xander Bogaerts’ 2019 season (6.8 fWAR)

Speaking of this year’s Red Sox team, Bogaerts really took it to another level both on and off the field in 2019 after agreeing to a six-year, $120 million extension back in early April.

Playing in 155 games this season, the All-Star shortstop slashed .309/.384/.555 to go along with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBI. Those numbers landed the 27-year-old his third career Silver Slugger Award as well as fifth-place finish in AL MVP voting.

5. Chris Sale’s 2017 season (7.6 fWAR)

Turning back to the pitching now, Sale made quite the first impression in his first season in a Red Sox uniform.

After coming over in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox the previous December, the left-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and league-leading 2.45 FIP over 32 games started and a league-leading 214 1/3 innings of work.

Not to mention he also struck out 308 of the 851 batters he faced in what wind up netting Sale a second-place finish in AL Cy Young voting and ninth-place finish in MVP voting.

4. Dustin Pedroia’s 2011 season (7.9 fWAR)

Due to a historic September collapse, the 2011 season may be one the Red Sox would like to forget about, but it still netted a decent amount of positive individual performances statistically speaking.

Adrian Gonzalez’s season is one we already discussed, and now it’s on to Dustin Pedroia.

In his age-27 season, the second baseman slashed .307/.387/.474 with a career-best 21 home runs, 91 runs driven in, 26 stolen bases, and 86 walks over 159 games played, all of which came at second base.

Offensively and defensively, Pedroia was the best second baseman in all of baseball that season, as he earned his second of four career Gold Glove Awards while finishing ninth in American League MVP voting.

3. Mookie Betts’ 2016 season. (8.3 fWAR)

Oh look, it’s Mookie Betts again. We already talked about what the 2018 AL MVP did this past season, but now it’s time to talk about when the then 23-year-old truly broke out.

Opening the 2016 campaign by making his second straight Opening Day Roster, Betts followed up an impressive first full season by being even better the next.

In 158 games, the first-time All-Star slashed .318/.363/.534 to go along with 31 homers and a career-best 113 RBI, all while leading the American League in total bases with 359 of them on the season.

2016 was the first step in Betts earning the unofficial title of “the best outfielder in baseball not named Mike Trout,” as the Tennessee native finished right behind the Angels star in MVP voting while also taking home his first career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards that year.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury’s 2011 season (9.5 fWAR)

Ellsbury may have just been cut loose after a mostly disappointing six-year tenure with the Yankees, but let’s not forget that from the time he made his first Opening Day roster in 2008 up until his departure in 2013, the Oregon State University product was a top-five outfielder in the American League in his time with the Red Sox.

Looking at his 2011 season more specifically, Ellsbury posted a .321/.376/.552 slash line to go along with a career-high 32 homers and 105 RBI over 158 games played.

Many wonder if Ellsbury would have won AL MVP in 2011 had it not been for his club’s historic collapse in September. Instead, the Tigers’ Justin Verlander took home the award, while Ellsbury took home his first career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards.

1. Mookie Betts’ 2018 season (10.4 fWAR)

Finally, we arrive at the only Red Sox player to win an MVP Award this decade in Betts, who put together a monster 2018 season, which also happens to arguably be the greatest season in Sox history.

Playing in 136 games and batting primarily out of the leadoff spot, Betts slashed .346/.438/.640 with a career-high 32 home runs and 80 RBI while pacing the American League in runs scored with 129 of them on the season.

In terms of MVP voting, it was not particularily close, as the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award-winning outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes.

According to FanGraphs, Betts accrued 10.4 fWAR in 2018, the highest total from one single season this decade. In short, the Tennessee native is very good at baseball.

Honorable mentions

Because I used FanGraphs’ fWAR metric to compile this list, David Ortiz’s 2016 season and J.D. Martinez’s 2018 season did not make the cut.

Also, Rick Porcello is the only Sox pitcher this decade to win a Cy Young Award, which he accomplished in 2016, so that deserves a shout out in its own right.

Red Sox’ Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts Take Home Third Career Silver Slugger Awards

For the third time in both of their respective careers, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts were named Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award winners on Thursday night, with Betts being one of three American League outfielders selected, and Bogaerts being the lone American League shortstop to win the award.

Betts, 27, followed up an MVP Award-winning 2018 season with another solid campaign at the plate in 2019, slashing .295/.391/.524 to go along with 29 home runs and 80 RBI over 150 games, 102 of which came batting out of the leadoff spot.

Among qualified American League outfielders this year, Betts ranked first in runs scored (135), second in OBP, and sixth in wRC+ (135). The Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout and Houston Astros’ George Springer took home the other two Silver Slugger Awards for AL outfielders.

The Tennessee native has now won both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award in the same year three times, becoming the first Red Sox player to ever accomplish the feat. It sure would be nice to see him try and do it a fourth time.

Bogaerts, meanwhile, built on a strong 2018 season and broke out even more in ’19, as he posted a .309/.384/.555 slash line to go along with a career-best 33 homers and 117 runs driven in over 155 games.

In terms of qualified AL shortstops not named Alex Bregman, who played 61 games at short for the Houston Astros, the 27-year-old ranked first in hits, (190), first in doubles (52), first in RBI, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, and first in wRC+ (141).

Back in April, Bogaerts inked a six-year, $120 million contract extension with Boston. The extension does not come into effect until next year, but the Aruba native seemed to settle into his own in 2019 and establish himself as a veteran presence in the Red Sox’ clubhouse.

Even if Boston is looking to shred payroll this winter, trading Bogaerts should not be on the table.

J.D. Martinez, who won two Silver Slugger awards last year, was not named an award winner for designated hitters this year. That honor went to Minnesota Twins slugger Nelson Cruz.

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.