Four Boston Red Sox players received votes for the 2019 AL MVP award, including one who finished in fifth place on the ballot.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of American has named Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout as the 2019 AL MVP for the third time in his career. The Boston Red Sox weren’t represented when the list of three finalists was revealed earlier this month but the full results confirm that they had four players who received votes.
Xander Bogaerts ranked highest on the list among the four Red Sox players. He was fifth on the ballot with 147 points, including one third-place vote.
Bogaerts was second in the league with 52 doubles and 85 extra-base hits while finishing tied for fifth with a .939 OPS. Those weren’t his only career-highs, as he also set personal bests with 33 home runs and 117 RBI on his way to winning his second Silver Slugger award.
2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts fell all the way to eighth on the ballot this year with 67 points. None of the voters had him in the top-three on their ballot but he received at least one vote in each of the 4-10 spots.
It was never reasonable to expect Betts to replicate one of the greatest seasons in franchise history but even with a bit of regression, he deserved better than eighth. Betts is one of the best five-tool talents in baseball and it shows in his 6.8 WAR, which trailed only the three finalists in the AL.
A batting average that dipped below .300 may seem disappointing for the reigning batting champion but .295 is nothing to scoff at and Betts was fifth in the league with a .391 OBP. He led the league with 135 runs scored and reached 40 doubles for the fifth consecutive season. Betts won his third Silver Slugger and fourth Gold Glove Award.
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Rafael Devers was only 12th on the ballot but be prepared for better results in the future from this rising star. Devers tied for fourth in the league with a .311 average and ranked ninth with a .916 OPS. The young third baseman led the league with 54 doubles and 90 extra-base hits.
Devers and Bogaerts made history by becoming the first pair of teammates with 30+ home runs and 50+ doubles in the same season. Devers is also the youngest player in franchise history to record a 200-hit season.
You’ll need to scroll down toward the bottom of the list to find J.D. Martinez, who barely made the cut with one 10th place vote. It’s tough for a designated hitter to earn respect from the voters but few provide the value that Martinez does at the plate. His production wasn’t quite as impressive as last year when he was chasing the Triple Crown but a .304/.383/.557 line with 36 home runs and 105 RBI is still an elite hitting performance.
The Red Sox underachieving as a team may have cost their stars some votes but we can’t blame missing the playoffs entirely on these results. Trout won despite his Angels finishing much further out of the postseason picture.
Trout is undoubtedly a worthy MVP regardless of how the rest of his team performed. He led the league with a .438 OBP, .635 SLG, and 1.083 OPS while setting a career-high with 45 home runs. His 8.3 WAR trailed only MVP runner-up Alex Bregman. If Trout were going to lose the award it would be because he missed most of September with a foot injury that required season-ending surgery.
The outstanding seasons by these Red Sox players weren’t enough to warrant MVP consideration ahead of Trout but it’s still quite the accomplishment to have four players on the ballot. The Astros and Twins – two clubs that made the playoffs – were the only other teams with 4+ players who received votes.
This season was disappointing for the Red Sox but it’s clear that their lineup is loaded with talent, a strong indication that brighter days are ahead.