One hundred and sixty two games have come and gone, eighty one of them at Fenway Park and eighty one of them in other ballparks around Major League Baseball. There were highs, and there were lows. Unfortunately there were more lows than highs, but when there were high's, they were great. It is hard to look for positives in a season that had dreams of baseball in late October back in March, but there are still positives. This will examine some of the best players the Red Sox had in 2015 and their case for why they were the 2015 Red Sox MVP.
Jim Davis Boston Globe
There is not much that can be said about Big Papi that hasn't been said before. The rock of 3 World Series Championships silenced critics with another age defying season. Ortiz's 37 home runs placed him 12th in all of Major League Baseball, but one home run was a little more special than all the others, home run number 500. Ortiz is a leader both in the clubhouse and at the plate. He was the guy who made sure teammates didn't check out early this year when things started awful. But, Ortiz doesn't play the field, and that's a knock for him to win MVP. You have to be able to play the field to win the MVP in my ballot.
It looks like the Red Sox won this trade last year when they sent Andrew Miller to Baltimore and got Rodriguez in return. Rodriguez was a stud for the Red Sox this year, even though he started only 21 games. His 10 wins were good enough for tied for second on the team this year with Joe Kelly and his 3.85 ERA was the second highest of Red Sox starters with more than 10 starts. In 15 of his 21 starts Rodriguez kept the opposing team to two runs or less. While Rodriguez had a fantastic rookie campaign in Boston, being a starting pitcher and throwing only 121 2/3 innings and starting 21 games will only get you so far. A noble candidate for MVP this year but not quite the winner on my ballot.
Is there anything this superstar can't do? The highest touted prospect in five years for the Red Sox spends his first full year at the major league level and produces like this? It's a good thing that the Red Sox didn't pull the trigger and package this youngster in a trade last offseason because this guy can flat out play the game. He is one of the best outfielders in the game and had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 7 this year, the 6th highest in all of baseball. He had 5 errors all season, while getting used to the strangest outfield in all of baseball, and he played the second most innings in the field of anybody on the team with 1254. Defensively this guy is solid, and at the plate? Who would have thought that Betts would belt 18 home runs, one less than Hanley Ramirez, and drive in 77 runs, good enough for third on the team. Mookie Betts had a season worthy of being the Red Sox MVP, but there is one player who deserved it more.
The Red Sox lone all star put up a fantastic season. Wait, WHAT? Xander Bogaerts was not an all star???? The voters must have lost their minds, they chose Alcides Escobar as the starting short stop to represent the American League, and Mike Moustakas as the final vote winner! What a shame. Bogaerts had a breakout year, hitting .320 at the plate good enough for fifth in the majors and second in the American League. He hit only seven home runs but drove in 81 runners. Not only did he produce at the plate but he produced in the field as well, solidifying the middle of the infield when Dustin Pedroia was not around. Bogaerts played in 156 games the most of any Red Sox player, tallying 1360 1/3 innings in the field. He committed only 11 errors and was a part of 95 double plays. Bogaerts not only avoided the sophomore slump during his second full year in the Major Leagues, he excelled and is in my opinion the 2015 Red Sox MVP.
So what do you think? Who are your candidates to win the Red Sox MVP award for 2015? Leave your answers in the comments below or tell me on twitter by clicking here.