Seven Sox up for All-MLB honors

(Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Seven Sox are nominated for a spot on the inaugural All-MLB team. Fan vote is open until 12/3.

For the first time ever, Major League Baseball will take a page out of the NBA book and reward stellar individual seasons further via the all-MLB team. The idea is similar to that of the all-team game, except the all-MLB team will take into the account players’ seasons as a totality. The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team presented by Scotts is underway and runs through 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 3, with 50% of the vote coming from fans and 50% coming from a panel of experts.Major League Baseball will take a page out of the NBA book and feature an All-MLB team, to honor stellar individual seasons across the sport. The idea is to recognize players’ seasons in totality on a large scale, not doable by all-star selections or even league-wide season awards. Most notably, award winners in opposing leagues will be facing off for a prized spot on the inaugural sport-wide team at their position. Voting will be determined by a 50-50 split between fan vote and what MLB is calling a “decorated panel of media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game.”

Amongst 60 position players, 19 starters, and 11 relievers, seven members of the 2019 Boston Red Sox are nominated for selection to the team. Only the Houston Astros have more representatives on the nominee list; they have ten.

Brandon Workman, RP: The return of the Red Sox veteran into the otherwise bleak bullpen in 2019 was refreshing to say the least. The dominance from Workman earned him the closer role midseason as he finished the year with 16 saves, a 1.88 ERA, and a career high 13.1 K/9. Yet, the competition in terms of big-name recognizability and basic numbers will likely not earn Workman one of the two reliever spots this year.

Eduardo Rodriguez, SP: The fact that ERod started the season with a short streak of stinkers and ends the season on this list is a testament to the talent and development that is encouraging to see. In an otherwise pitiful season for Sox pitching, Rodriguez was masterful and quickly turned into the 2019 ace of the Red Sox staff. He’s clearly not going to win one of the five rotation spots for this honor but after getting Cy Young votes and being on this list, the Sox need to do all they can to keep him healthy and around the club for a while.

Christian Vazquez, C: Arguably the most improved player on this year’s Sox team, Vazquez was a monster behind the plate and made a name for himself offensively with a breakout year in every offensive category. The competitive is stiff however, with several catchers having eye-popping power numbers. Expect winning the spot to be a tough task for Boston’s lead backstop.

J.D. Martinez, DH: It is no secret that J.D. Martinez is one of the best hitters in baseball. In what was an MVP-caliber season for Martinez as a DH in 2018, it was a near-impossible task to repeat the history in 2019. Yet, the numbers were still eye-popping. However, you should expect Nelson Cruz of the Twins to back up his Silver Slugger with the All-MLB spot to beat out Martinez this time around.

Mookie Betts, OF: A generational talent and a reigning MVP, it was clear Betts was going to be on this list despite the inconsistency in 2019. He’s just that good. However, Betts has no shot. In a loaded outfield class, you have to believe the obvious trio of MVP frontrunners Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, and Mike Trout are going to take the spots on this team. Does this really need more explaining? That’s what I thought.

Rafael Devers, 3B: To say that Rafael Devers was a spark plug for the Red Sox all year long is a major league understatement. At 22 years old, Devers put up historic numbers in a Boston uniform, quickly establishing himself as one of the most dangerous hitters in the league. He, too, will miss out on a spot on the team, likely to AL MVP finalist Alex Bregman or NL MVP finalist Anthony Rendon. But it might not be long until we see Devers be a serious threat to win the spot on a future team.

Xander Bogaerts, SS: What more can I say? Xander Bogaerts is the only man on this list that deserves to win an all-MLB spot. An appearance in the top 5 in AL MVP voting with 33 HR, 117 RBI and a .309/.384/.555 slash line, and Bogaerts is somehow still underrated. The competition at SS is deep and it’s wild to think Bogaerts might also miss out on a spot on the all-MLB team. He’s established himself as clutch, versatile, and elite. The only fear you should have is voters and “experts” robbing Bogaerts again due to the statistical metrics that caused Marcus Semien to finish an MVP finalist.

The All-MLB Team selection phase is in progress until 5 PM (EST) on December 3.

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