2018 has been a storybook year for Red Sox stars J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. This past week at the Players Choice Awards the duo added another chapter to the story.
This past year was a momumental one for the Boston Red Sox. Not only as a team but on an individual level as well. Mookie Betts was named the AL Most Valuable Player earlier this month earning 28 out of a possible 30 first place votes. J.D. Martinez had a monstrous year and took his place as the heir apparent to Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
Martinez posted great numbers in his first season with the Red Sox (.330AVG/43HR/130RBI), but was snubbed in the MVP voting. For most of the season it was thought to be a two horse race between Betts and Martinez. So when the voting came out and Martinez finished fourth, it was a bit of a shock to fans.
But at this past Tuesday night’s Players’ Association Players Choice Awards, Martinez received some vindication. J.D. was voted Player of the Year by the Players’ Association. The baseball writers may not have been on his side, but it has to feel great getting the respect from your peers.
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The other half of this power house duo didn’t leave the awards empty handed either. Mookie went home with the American League Outstanding Player Award. Betts is going to need to add an extension to his house just for the awards he’s added this offseason.
With 2018 now in the books for the dynamic duo of the Red Sox, what will 2019 hold for the pair? Mookie came off a bit of a down year in 2017 to bounce back and have a stranglehold on the MVP ballot all. J.D. was also coming off a bit of a down year having bounced around a tad before signing with the Sox. Both seem to have found their place not only on the team but in baseball in general.
If he can keep this momentum, Martinez can truly be the man to finally fill the shoes of Big Papi. Ever since Ortiz retired the Red Sox have had trouble filling that void. After the way his 2018 went, it definitely looks like J.D. is up for the challenge. As for Mookie, he is gearing up for a big payday come 2021. He’s eligible for arbitration agreements now, but the big contract will come with free agency in 2021.
The Red Sox have a great core group with J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts at the helm. Both capitalized on the opportunities they were given in 2018 and the future looks bright for the pair. They get to end the year with a World Series trophy, multiple accolades and now the full respect of their peers.