Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers only Red Sox Silver Slugger finalists
Add Silver Slugger nominations to the long list of reasons the Boston Red Sox must lock in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers this offseason.
It’s impressive from an individual standpoint, but even more so because they’re the only players on the team to get the nod. Bogaerts is also the only Gold Glove nominee, aside from Jackie Bradley Jr., who finished out the season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bogaerts is up against Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Carlos Correa (Twins), and Corey Seager (Rangers) for the award. Here’s how he ranks among them:
Games played: 3rd
Not exactly his best showing, but he’s got a shot.
If Bogaerts takes home the hardware, it will be his fifth time winning the award and second time doing so in back-to-back seasons. He won his first and second in 2015-16, another in 2019, and last year.
Bogaerts’ power dipped this year – though that was the case for most of the team – in large part because he played through an injury that messed up his swing and mechanics. But if he could win a Silver Slugger in 2015, when he hit 35 doubles and only homered seven times in 156 games, he can certainly take one home this year for collecting 38 two-baggers and 15 round-trippers in 150 games.
As for Devers, this would be his second Silver Slugger award. He took home his first last year when he hit .279/.352/.538 with 37 doubles and 38 home runs. The accolade was long overdue; he’d been snubbed in his breakout season when he hit 32 home runs (one more than his previous career total) and led MLB with 359 bases and the American League with 54 doubles in 2019.
Devers is up against Alex Bregman (Astros), Matt Chapman (Blue Jays), and José Ramirez (Guardians) for the accolade. Like Bogaerts, the cherubic Sox star had an injury-marred season, but it sidelined him more and he struggled when he returned. Take a look at how he measures up to his competition:
Games played: 4th
Had Devers been able to play a few more games, his offensive output would’ve been significantly higher than the competition. In only 141 games, he homered as many times as Chapman did in 155, and Ramirez only hit two more than they did in 157 games. Devers also finished two doubles behind Ramirez, an impressively close margin given the wide gap in game count.
In such a disappointing season for the Sox, the fact that this beloved duo is up for the award and no one else is should only reinforce the point that they are the pair to build around.
They might not win the Silver Sluggers this year, but they better get paid.