Checking Out The 2021 Red Sox All-Stars

The full MLB All-Star rosters were released on Sunday afternoon, and it was announced that Matt Barnes, Nate Eovaldi, and J.D. Martinez will be joining All-Star starters Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in Denver for the game on July 13th. Boston will be heavily represented in Denver, as their five All-Stars are the most by any team. All five of these players have played a crucial role in the Red Sox success this season, but just how good have they been for the Red Sox? 

Xander Bogaerts 

Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts named third-best shortstop in baseball by MLB  Network – Blogging the Red Sox


Bogaerts has been the MVP of the Sox season so far, and if Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero weren’t having the ridiculous seasons they are, X-man could have possibly been a front runner for AL MVP. This will be Bogaerts’ third All-Star appearance, and his second as a starter. At the mid-way point of the season, the 2021 season is shaping up to be one of the best of Bogaerts’ career. Xander currently sits at fourth in the league in batting average, hitting .326. Boagerts is also tied for the league in doubles with 25, and his .928 OPS is also good for 12th in the league. Per usual, defense has been a big part of Xander’s game, and he has been great in the field. It’s no question Boagerts has been the best short-stop in American League and his spot as an All-Star starter is well deserved. 

Rafael Devers 

2021 will be Rafael Devers’ first career All-Star game appearance and he will do it as a starter. Like Bogaerts, 2021 is shaping up to be one of the best statistical seasons of Rafael Devers’ career. Devers currently sits second in the MLB in RBIs, with 68, just one behind Vladimir Guerrero for the league lead. Devers also has hit 20 home runs, which is good for seventh most in the MLB. The 24 year-old has a 56.1 Hard Hit %, which is in the top 3% in major league baseball. Along with his teammate on the left-side of the diamond, Devers has 25 doubles on the season. That number is tied for the league lead. Also like Bogaerts, Devers has been the best in the American League at his position, and his spot as a starter on All-Star weekend is well deserved. 

Nathan Eovaldi 

This will be the first All-Star appearance in Nathan Eovaldi’s career. The 2018 World Series hero has been quite impressive for the Red Sox this season. Evoladi has stepped up big for as the ace of the Red Sox, posting  a 7-4 record, which is fourth best in the majors. Eovaldi also leads the league in home runs per nine innings pitched, allowing just four on the season. Eovaldi has struck out 90 batters, with a 3.41 ERA, and a 1.20 WHIP. He also leads the team in innings pitched with 97 ⅔, taking pressure off the bullpen. Eovaldi has also done a great job limiting walking batters, which has been a problem for the Red Sox at points this season. Nathan’s walk rate is 4.7%, which is in the top six percentile of the league. 

Matt Barnes

After seven seasons with the Red Sox, Matt Barnes is heading to his first All-Star game. 2021 has far and away been the best season of Matt Barnes’ career. Barnes has 19 saves, which is seventh most in the league, a 2.68 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts. His expected average (XBA) is just 1.55, which is in the top 1%, and his strikeout rate is 45.5%, which is also in the top 1% of the league. Barnes’ whiff rate is also among the top in the league. The best aspect of Barnes’ game this season has been his strikeout ability, as shown by his numbers. Barnes’ emergence has been huge for the Red Sox. They have lacked a closer since Craig Kimbrell’s departure, which has been a big problem for their bullpen. 

J.D. Martinez 

The 2021 All-Star game will be J.D.’s fourth career All-Star appearance and his third with the Red Sox. He will be representing the Red Sox as a reserve at DH behind Angels’ superstar Shohei Ohtani. J.D. has bounced back exceptionally well after a rough 2020 campaign. J.D. is currently batting .303 which is 12th in the MLB, with 56 RBIs which tied for ninth in the majors. Martinez has also posted a .920 OPS which is 13th in the MLB. Martinez has more than doubled his home run total from 2020, with 17, and he has 21 doubles to go along with the home runs. J.D. was the last piece needed to send the 3-5 batters in the Red Sox lineup to Denver, which is pretty impressive. 

Potential Red Sox All-Stars in 2021

The success enjoyed by Boston so far this season has been a breath of fresh air for Red Sox fans everywhere. After a frustrating season in 2019, and everything that went down in 2020, both baseball-related and not baseball-related, the Red Sox currently have the best record in the American League. Almost everyone had counted the Red Sox out before this season even started, but Boston has persevered. Boston is currently the top-ranked team in baseball offensively. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts have both done a phenomenal job of leading the way at the plate. The Red Sox have one of the improved pitching staffs in the MLB. They finished last season ranked 27th and they currently sit at 12th this season. Let’s discuss the biggest contributors to Boston’s success so far this season and the members of the club who are most likely to make the trip out to Denver in July.

Red Sox All-Stars

J.D. Martinez

J.D. needs no introduction at this point. He was a big part of the squad that won the World Series in 2018 and has been one of the Red Sox’s biggest contributors the past few seasons. He is currently hitting .342. Martinez has batted in 33 run. Finally, he is tied for the third-most home runs in the MLB so far this season at 10.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander has also done wonders at the dish this year. He is currently hitting .344. He has a slugging percentage of .609, and has only been struck out 28 times in 151 plate appearances.

Nathan Eovaldi

Nathan was part of the pitching staff that helped Boston bring home the trophy in 2018. He has been a member of the Red Sox ever since, but has really come out of his shell in 2021. He has won four games and has 47 strikeouts so far this season. Eovaldi has put the Red Sox pitching staff on his back and it does not look like he is slowing down anytime soon.

Other Red Sox Players Who Could Get Selected

Some other members of the team who could possibly get selected are Eduardo Rodriguez, Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo, and Christian Vazquez. These guys have been good so far this season, but time will tell if they can take the next step in time to make the trip out to Denver this July.

Who On the Red Sox Is All-Star Worthy?

Summer is almost here which means it is almost time to start talking about the MLB All-Star Game. This season the game will be held in Nationals Park, in Washington D.C. Each year, fans can cast their ballots and vote for whoever they want to see start in the game. However, the rules state each team must be represented in some way. Players, coaches and a final fan vote determine the rest of the rosters. Major League Baseball gives weekly updates all June on the voting. The first installment is very Red Sox friendly. So who might be representing the Red Sox in the All-Star Game?

Boston outfielder Mookie Betts leads all vote-getters with roughly 100 thousand moreAll-Star votes than second place Angels’ Mike Trout. J.D. Martinez leads all potential designated hitters. J.D. currently holds the DH lead in front of New York’s Giancarlo Stanton. Meanwhile, both Mitch Moreland and Andrew Benintendi remain in the running

It’s easy to pencil in Martinez and Betts as Red Sox all-stars. Betts is hitting a gaudy .350 while approaching 20 home runs and 40 RBI. He is doing so all while missing two weeks earlier this month, for “backside tightness”. Martinez looks like an early favorite for MVP, as he has already eclipsed the 20 home-run mark and looks destined to have one of the best statistical seasons of all-time for a Red Sox player.

Are Red Sox Fans Getting the All-Star Vote Right?

Xander Bogaerts not being shown in the all-star vote of top 5 of shortstops is puzzling to me. Xander has changed his approach at the plate. Under new hitting coach Tim Hyers, Bogaerts already has nine home-runs. He had a total of 10 in 2017. Hyers has preached launch angle and “hard contact”. The results of that new approach are not going unnoticed. Xander looks primed to have one of the best offensive seasons for shortstops in the American League this season. The problem for Bogaerts is the competition at that position. Star names like Manny Machado and Francisco Lindor are currently the one and two leading vote-getters, respectively, at the position. Star power is certainly going to hinder Bogaerts’ chance to win the all-star starting nod.

First-base seems to be an anomaly this year. There are less ‘big name stars’ occupying the current top 5 spots. First base is annually very tough competition for any player due to the production and name value at that position. Cabrera and Pujols are some of the usual suspects of all-star names thrown around for first base. However, they are both aging, their skills are noticeably regressing and Cabrera is injured. That is opening the door for guys like Moreland to get the nod. Currently, Moreland ranks second in votes to White Sox’s Jose Abreu. Moreland started the year on the bench because of Hanley Ramirez. Now Mitch is hitting cleanup for the Boston lineup. He already has double-digits in the home run column and has hovered around a .300 average all year.

We will keep an eye on the All-Star Game voting updates for sure. Get your all-star votes in Red Sox fans!

 

Red Sox Fans Really Like Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel is having a truly dominant season for the Red Sox. In just his second year Craig Kimbrelwith Boston he has posted a 1.23 ERA to go with just 5 earned-runs all season. He also has a league-leading 23 saves already. What exactly is it that makes Kimbrel so unhittable? Is it the pre-pitch death-stare? The blazing fastball that blows guys away? Or is it the absolutely filthy knuckle-curve that he spins with 2-strikes to make professional-hitters look totally foolish? “Gas Masterson” can strike you out in a multitude of ways. If you can find a way to not strike out, that still does not mean you’re getting on base. The 6-time MLB All-Star has done nothing but great things for the Sox since he joined the squad, and looks to continue that trend in the second half.

Craig Kimbrel Is Not Slowing Down

The only way Craig Kimbrel is going to stop getting hitters out is if John Farrell doesn’t bring him in. The guy is a stud; simple as that. Hitters just do not want to see Kimbrell jogging in from the Red Sox bullpen in the ninth. Kimbrel’s blazing fastball is consistently pumping 99 mph, while his knuckle-curve could be considered “disgusting” by opposing hitters. He’s in the prime of his career at 29 years-old and is hungry for a World Series title. Kimbrel wants the ball in the last-inning of Game 7, and he wants to shut the door. Sure, he might find a way to make it interesting. When it’s over, we’ll all think back and say “Man, I knew he had it the whole time!” just like every time before.

How To Retain Craig Kimbrel

Though Red Sox fans do not have to worry about it quite yet, Craig Kimbrel’s contract does expire at the end of the 2018 season. He will become an unrestricted free-agent after making $13,000,000 that season. To retain Kimbrel, Boston will have to prove to him that their organization is where he belongs. Also, they will need to assure him that the deal he is offered from the Red Sox (assuming they do make him an offer) is the best one available to him. Keeping Craig Kimbrel on a long-term deal is something the Red Sox should definitely look at if they plan to compete four or five years from now.

Is Xander Bogaerts All-Star Worthy?

Now more than halfway through the baseball season, the 88th MLB All-Star Game is just a week away. A selection show on ESPN reminiscent of Selection Sunday in college basketball revealed three Red Sox are going to Miami. Mookie Betts and Craig Kimbrel will be reserves and Chris Sale could very well be the AL’s starting pitcher. When you fill out your vote for the final ballot ask yourself: is Xander Bogaerts All-Star Worthy?

Red Sox fans can remember in 2015 when the “X for ASG” campaign failed to get Xander Bogaerts All-StarBogaerts in on the final ballot vote. After being the league’s starting shortstop in 2016, Bogaerts is right back in the final ballot scenario. A tireless workhorse this year, Bogaerts finds himself in a log-jammed position behind stars like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Let’s see if he deserves a spot among the best.

In the final five players eligible for the final vote, there are three shortstops. Among those three, Bogaerts is by far the best and has the best numbers. So he has that going for him, which is nice. DiDi Gregorious has missed too much time to catch up to Bogaerts and Elvis Andrus just doesn’t matchup in any facet. Mike Moustakas has some great power numbers but nothing else and Logan Morrison is the last guy on the ballot and if you don’t know who he is you certainly aren’t alone.

As far as his numbers go, they are All-Star worthy. Among AL shortstops, Bogaerts ranks second in hits (95), batting average (.314), OBP (.366) and doubles (20). He is also first in triples (4) and third in runs scored (49). Not to be lost in this, he has been the most consistent hitter on a first place team. Gregorious’ team is behind his in the standings and Andrus’ Rangers are below .500. Bogaerts has been a catalyst on a team that’s one of the hottest in baseball at the moment.

Moving on from pure statistics, Bogaerts is one of the best defenders in arguably the most important position on the diamond. Rare is it that he ever makes an error or is out of position. Much like Carlos Correa, he is a big guy with exceptional range and make spectacular plays moving to their left. I’d go as far as saying that Bogaerts is a carbon copy of Correa minus the power. Obviously that’s a big distinction but he does everything else at an All-Star level.

So yeah, Bogaerts should be an All-Star. Unfortunately for him and Red Sox fans, All-Star voting is seldom about who should be in the game. I think he’s the best player available on the final ballot. There’s something we do have to take in consideration though: one of the other guys is a Royal. With a mediocre team in a mediocre city, those Royals fans have nothing better to do than vote for their players all day. All I’m saying is Bogaerts deserves a spot but don’t be surprised if it’s Mike Moustakas.

Ortiz Leads Red Sox All-Star Team

As David Ortiz leads Red Sox All-Stars to San Diego next week, Red Sox Nation will cheer for an AL victory. Six Red Sox players have been chosen for the 2016 American League All-Star team at Petco Park in San Diego. This will be the first All-Star game for all but two of the chosen Red Sox players. Here are your 2016 Red Sox All-Stars (Player numbers are current as of July 8th).

David Ortiz will be playing in his tenth, and final, All-Star game this year as he closes in onOrtiz leads Red Sox finishing a historic season. Ortiz is leading the American League with 34 doubles and a .429 on base percentage. He’s also hitting .337 with a .677 slugging percentage. Despite pleas to reconsider, Ortiz insists that he’s retiring—stating that he can no longer tolerate the pain in his feet and ankles. Ortiz should be a shoe-in for induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Craig Kimbrel has struggled in recent weeks, but has accumulated 17 saves this season. This will be his fifth All-Star game.

Kansas City’s manager Ned Yost chose Steven Wright for this year’s All-Star game, his first. However, Wright probably won’t be the starting pitcher. Wright has developed a nasty knuckleball that rotates slower than planet earth, deceiving batter after batter. He’s leading the league in complete games (3) and has a 10-5 record overall.

Mookie Betts finally made the All-Star team for the first time despite a spectacular 2015 season. Betts currently leads the American League in plate appearances (401), at-bats (374), and total bases (197). Betts has only made one error in 179 defensive chances too.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has revived what was once seen as a floundering career. After hitting .189, .198, and .249 over the last three seasons, respectively, Bradley Jr. is hitting .293 with 14 home runs. In 197 defenses, Bradley Jr. has made only one error. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the Gold Glove Award for this season’s defense.

After missing last year’s All-Star game by a narrow margin, Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will finally get his chance to show the rest of the league how good he is. Hitting .332 this season, Bogaerts has emerged as a Red Sox fan favorite. While not known for his power, Bogaerts is a clutch hitter who comes through when needed most.

The 87th All-Star Game will take place on July 12th, 2016 at 7:30 Pacific time. Boston will be smiling down on San Diego as David Ortiz leads Red Sox All-Stars on the field to take on the National League.