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Friday, November 1, 2013

Red Sox After Season Awards

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am going to do my post season awards (not postseason awards). These are the players I think deserve the after season awards on this Red Sox team.  These are all based on my own thoughts; so if you disagree, certainly you can explain who you think should win and why in the comments.  Now, here's the awards:

MVP: David Ortiz

Photo from Bleacher Report
David Ortiz hit .309 during the season with 30 home runs, 103 RBIs, and 28 doubles.  Those numbers are great, but you need to add it to what he meant to this team.  Ortiz made his now famous post Boston Marathon speech in April, and that seemed to be the catalyst for this team to strive for the top.  Yes, they had a point to prove after last season, but they also wanted to lift the City of Boston on their shoulders.  Ortiz was the man to make the speech and bring this team back to greatness.

Of course, in the World Series, he was dominant.  He hit .688 with 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 11 hits, and 8 walks (with only 1 strike out).  He now has 3 World Series rings and 1 MVP award in his career.

Cy Young: Jon Lester
Photo from NESN
This season, Lester went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.294 WHIP.  Some people may be asking how he can by Cy Young with those good but not great numbers.  I chose Jon Lester because he was the workhorse the Red Sox needed this season.  He pitched 213.1 innings, when the next closest was John Lackey with 189.1 innings.  After the All Star break, Lester seemed to improve with every start.  His ERA fell from 4.58 to 3.75 for the season, almost an entire run.

This postseason, Lester made a name for himself as an ace.  In the World Series, he had 2 winning starts, pitched 15.1 innings, and only gave up 9 hits, 1 run, 1 walk while striking out 15.  His World Series ERA was 0.59.

Rookie of the Year: Xander Bogaerts
Photo from USAToday
This one was a little hard for me, as there wasn't a Rookie that made a season-long impact on this team.  There were players that had been up and down in the minors for the past couple years (Daniel Nava, Will Middlebrooks), but I don't think any player made more of an influence on the team than Xander Bogaerts.  During the season, he hit .250 in 18 games with 11 hits, 1 home run, and 5 RBIs.  Defensively, he showed he was capable at both shortstop (his natural position) and third base (the position he eventually took over for Will Middlebrooks in the postseason).

In the World Series, Bogaerts started all 6 games, batted .238 (which was surprisingly the third highest on the team behind Ortiz and Ellsbury) with2 RBIs and 5 hits, including a triple.

Comeback Player of the Year: John Lackey
Photo from ESPN.GO
John Lackey didn't pitch at all in 2012 because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Tommy John surgery is serious, but I think it was a blessing in disguise for Lackey.  In 2011, many Red Sox fans cast Lackey as a villain, as the post child for everything that went wrong with the team in September.  He heard more boos than cheers, and the media seemed to be against him as well.  He took 2012 off to recover from surgery.

When he came back this season, no one knew what Lackey would bring.  He looked healthier, physically thinner and stronger, than he had in recent years.  He had a presence to him that showed confidence, and he pitched with confidence.  He had a 10-13 record, but that was because he couldn't get the run support.  He completed the year with a 3.53 ERA (it was 6.41 in 2011), 189.1 innings pitched, and a 1.157 WHIP.

This World Series, Lackey pitched in 3 games (2 starts), had a 1-1 record, and a 2.57 ERA.  He gave up 14 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, and struck out 11.

Honorable Mention: Daniel Nava
Photo from YawkeyWayReport

No one can argue that Daniel Nava had an incredible season.  If you recall, Nava made headlines in 2010 when he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw in the minors.  He was the guy who didnt make his college baseball team right away and was the team manager for two seasons.  Then, he played in the Golden Baseball League, and his contract was bought by the Red Sox for one dollar.  In 2011, he was buried in the minors and designated for assignment without any other team showing interest.  In 2012, he hit only .243 in 88 games.  Many thought he was just a good story, but he wrote another chapter this season.

Daniel Nava hit a career high .303 this season with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs.  He played 134 games, platooning with Jonny Gomes and filling in for Victorino when needed.  He was a presence at the plate, but he wasn't one of the over-the-top players that seemed to flood the media this season.  He was grounded, and he will certainly be back in the Majors next season.

That's it for me today.  Tomorrow, I will be attending the Red Sox World Series parade, so make sure to check back early next week for photos and commentary.  It's been a great and intense season, but you can't be upset about the outcome.