BOSTON - Currently, the entire world of baseball can only talk about the scandal that claims the Houston Astros devised a system of cheating and stealing signals during baseball games over the past three seasons as shared by the New York Post.
As we wait for this story to unfold further, I thought it would be good to share some positive vibes about baseball, in the form of the 2019 awards for the Boston Red Sox. After all, the final candidates for the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year votes included zero Red Sox. And I think our team deserves some recognition.
Granted, Mookie Betts did win a Gold Glove for the fourth time in a row this year, per WCVB, and Betts and Xander Bogaerts were both named Silver Sluggers. And Eduardo Rodriguez finished sixth in Cy Young voting. But it's still not enough! Without further ado, here are the 2019 Red Sox season awards.
MVP: This might seem like a controversial pick, but I have to go with Rafael Devers. Critics will argue that Betts and J.D. Martinez had higher peaks and that Bogaerts was altogether more consistent, but I just think that Devers' breakout season has to be acknowledged. He broke out in a big way by leading the league in doubles and total bases and was red hot for the majority of the season. He hit .311, up 71 points from 2018, and slugged 32 home runs or 115 runs batted in. Unfortunately, with a big season from fellow third baseman Alex Bregman, Devers' incredible year will be forgotten. But not by me.
Cy Young: I have to go with the MLB on this one. Rodriguez was definitely Boston's best pitcher this year. Chris Sale was no longer the ace of the club and David Price's hot start ended up mired in injuries. Rodriguez, though, was always aces. He pitched more games than any other major league pitcher, too! He went 19-6 with a 3.81 earned run average, the lowest in his career, and 213 strikeouts, his most by 63. Rodriguez has blossomed into the pitcher we always knew he could be.
Rookie of the Year: Obviously, Alex Cora would be the manager of the year, but the rookie of the year is almost as clear. It's Michael Chavis. The "Ice Horse" played in just 95 games this year, but he made his impact felt. He hit .254 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs. I can't wait to see what a full season of Chavis looks like!
Gold Glove of the Year: Frankly, everyone on this team deserves a Gold Glove. But Betts is the only one who consistently receives the honor. I have to give a shoutout to Jackie Bradley, Jr., though. He is probably the best outfield defender I have ever seen on the Sox. 2019 was no exception, as he recorded a .987 fielding percentage, which was somehow five points better than his Gold Glove campaign last year. He is the master of all web gems.
Reliever of the Year: Boston's bullpen was not great this season, but Brandon Workman was definitely a bright spot. He recorded a 1.88 ERA with 16 saves and 104 strikeouts. It was honestly shocking how brilliantly he performed from April to September.
Most Improved Player of the Year: In the final award for the 2019 Red Sox, I basically invented a category so I would be able to give Christian Vazquez some recognition for his incredible year. Offensively, the catcher position was a major weakness for the Sox in 2018. But something clicked for Vazquez in 2019 and he usurped Sandy Leon as the full-time starting catcher. In 2018, he hit .207 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. In 2019? He hit .276 with 23 home runs and 72 RBIs. It's just incredible.
Even though we didn't make the playoffs this year, there was still plenty to smile about with the 2019 Red Sox.
Image Via Wikimedia Commons