Boston Red Sox 2016 season awards

Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League player David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox tips his helmet to the crowd as he is replaced in the third inning in the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League player David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox tips his helmet to the crowd as he is replaced in the third inning in the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Just who on the Red Sox earned highest accolades for their 2016 performances? I now share a few om own choices including one monumental one.

After a successful Boston Red Sox regular season, the awards will flow to honor those whose contributions made it possible. The national and local media awards will come forward in the next few weeks, but that certainly won’t stop me. I’ve also gone slightly down the road of negativity since that is what Red Sox fans do.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is pegging baseball awards.

Most Valuable PlayerMookie Betts

At 23-years old, Betts is a legitimate five-tool player who is the favorite for league MVP. Betts topped 30 home runs and knocked in well over 100 RBI while playing arguably the best defensive right field in the American League. The Defensive Runs Saved are far ahead of all others.

Player of the Year David Ortiz

What a way to pull down the curtain. The numbers are off the charts for any age grouping let alone 40-years-old. OPS is baseball best as is leading the league in doubles and ringing up home runs and RBI by the baseball bushel. Leadership qualities and clutch hits. A Red Sox icon and sure Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.

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Pitcher of the YearRick Porcello

This was the first season of a contract that was universally despised for its generosity. Now it is a steal. In every league pitching category, Porcello is among the very best – traditional or metrics. The best, however, is wins. That is what a pitcher is supposed to do and Porcello did it. Now the “Ace” of the staff. Can we extend this guy?

Relief Pitcher of the YearBrad Ziegler

A category that was quite sparse on talent. Craig Kimbrel had exceptionally exacerbating performances that often were followed by several games of total dominance. Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara both revived their game for the stretch run, but getting there was another story. Only one provided consistently positive performances and that was Ziegler. Ziegler brought stability when needed

Coach of the YearBrian Bannister

Was it a coincidence that the pitching staff turned it around when Bannister was named assistant pitching coach? A strong supporter of the application of analytics to pitching, but that is useless without the skill set to translate that to the art of pitching. By September the rotation was solid and the bullpen arguably the best in baseball.

Comeback of the Year Dustin Pedroia/Hanley Ramirez

Pedroia is back. The de facto captain had a year close to his MVP season of 2008. Last season Pedroia was on a similar track until injuries sidelined him. The big dip in 2015 was his defensive metrics with a UZR/150 of 3.5. This season he is best among American League second basemen.

Ramirez was a dud in 2015 both swinging the bat and using a glove for decorative purposes. Injuries may have contributed to his downfall as in April of last season Hanley banged out ten home runs before wilting.

This season it is what one expected with power forcing pitchers to pitch to Ortiz. The big hits just kept coming for HanRam with some orbital home runs tossed in. Give Ramirez credit – no excuses last season and his surly rep was left in LA. Now a fan favorite.

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Best Defensive PlayerJackie Bradley

Betts is certainly one who could gather in this award, but Bradley plays center field and that is the real key. Going to his left or right Bradley is a true ball hawk and his ability to close on balls in front of him is exceptional. Then comes the arm. How many runners pull up at second and say “No Mas?”

Surprise of the YearSteven Wright

Take away his DL stint and Wright could be 17+ wins. When the Red Sox starters were in a pitching morass early on Wright added some much-needed stability. Toss in a fluxed bullpen and Wright’s going deep into contests no doubt saved a few wins. Made an All-Star team – a well-deserved honor.

Disappointment of the Year – Third Base

Yep – third base was a real blight for 2016. First off Pablo Sandoval went on the DL and that made little difference since he had already lost the competition for third. Travis Shaw started out like it was 2015 all over again and was hitting near .300 by the end of May. Shaw has tanked since then both with the glove and the bat.

Next: Red Sox: David Ortiz honored at Yankee Stadium

Aaron Hill was acquired to help solidify third, but his game had lost its edge years ago. Brock Holt saw some duty, but was either injured or plugging a gap somewhere else. Yoan Moncada was promoted for a late season push and went into a strikeout inspired tailspin.

Sources: Fangraphs