As we approach the MLB All Star Break, now is a good time to discuss the midseason awards for the Red Sox. Overall, the Red Sox have had a strong first half of the season as they head into the break in contention for a playoff position. After two consecutive last place finishes, this is what Red Sox Nation wanted and the team has delivered. Granted, there have been some peaks and valleys in the season and there’s still a lot of work to do. However, there have been a lot of positives on a team that is sending six players to the MLB All Star Game.
Today, we’re going to present First Score Boston’s Midseason Awards for the Red Sox.
Most Valuable Player: Mookie Betts
Betts entered Saturday’s game with a .300 average with 18 home runs and 58 RBI. In addition, he has 15 stolen bases and is second in the AL with 73 runs scored. Betts ranks in the AL Top Ten in Hits, Runs, Doubles, Triples, RBI, and Stolen Bases. In addition, he’s played a very steady right field. Granted, the Red Sox have another very strong candidate in David Ortiz. Betts gets the slight edge right now given his overall impact on the game, not only at the plate, but also on the bases and in the field. This guy is a true five-tool player and he continues to improve each year. Betts is not only the MVP of the Red Sox, but he is also a top candidate as the MVP of the American League.
Cy Young Award: Steven Wright
This is an easy one. Wright is fourth in the American League in wins with 10 and second in ERA at 2.68. For a guy who entered Spring Training battling for a position on the roster, Wright has been a pleasant surprise. The Red Sox signed David Price to be their ace. Yet, it has been Wright who has stepped up in the #1 role and led the Red Sox rotation. Wright was selected to the AL All Star Team and it was a well deserved selection. There’s no question on Wright’s contributions in the first half of the season. The only question is whether or not he can keep it up.
Most Improved Player: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley had a solid second half in 2015. Yet, there were still question marks heading into the 2016 season. Could Bradley stay consistent and produce over a full season? Well, in the first half that certainly happened. Bradley is hitting .294 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI. He also owns a .378 OBP and a .927 OPS. At this time last season, there were questions on whether or not Bradley could even be a serviceable MLB player. A year later, he’s starting the MLB All Star Game. What a great story!
Biggest Surprise: Steven Wright
Wright has been the team’s best pitcher and biggest surprise as well. No one expected Wright to even be in the rotation never mind be the ace of the staff.
Least Valuable Player: Clay Buchholz
4+ runs allowed in 11 of 13 starts.
Enough said. It’s not worth it to waste time on this guy.
Biggest Disappointment: David Price
Price was signed to not only be the ace of the Red Sox rotation, but also one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. He led the American League with a 2.45 ERA in 2015 and the expectation was that he would contend for the Cy Young Award this year. Price is 8-6 with a 4.64 ERA. That’s over two runs higher than his ERA last year. He’s gone from first to 34th. What’s odd is that Price leads the AL in strikeouts with 130. Price is pitching more like a serviceable #4 starter this year. For $31 million a year, it’s not what the Red Sox paid for. We’ll see if we’ll get to see the real David Price down the stretch.
So, there you have it. The Red Sox have had a good start to the season with multiple players deserving recognition and a few who have underperformed. We didn’t even mention Xander Bogaerts , Dustin Pedroia, and Rick Porcello who also deserve recognition for a great first half! Let’s hope that the end of the season awards have a lot of good stories including a postseason birth for the Sox!