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.

Brock Holt Makes Impact At All-Star Game

This year’s Mid-Summer Classic ended with yet another win for the American League.  The game was played at the Great American Ballpark in Cincincatti.  The Boston Red Sox only had one representative, Brock Holt, and he did not disappoint for the Sox.

Coming into the game, nobody was really sure about what type of role Holt would have. Brock Holt He was not seen until the seventh inning when he was subbed in to replace Mike Trout as a pinch-runner.  But right when he came in, he made an immediate positive impact.

Holt stole second base on a breaking ball thrown by pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, after seeing the previous pitch put in the dirt.  He then scored on a double hit by Manny Machado.  This run gave the American League another insurance run which helped them to a 6-3 win over the National League.

After being put into the game, Holt stayed in and played three innings in left field.  In his one at-bat, he struck out against the Cincinatti Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

For Holt, this was his first All-Star selection.  As Red Sox fans, we’re all hoping that it is just the first of many.  He may be the most versatile player in the Major League’s, and that showed as he was the first player in history to be selected to the All-Star team who had started at seven positions, every one other than pitcher and catcher.

The Red Sox are starting the second-half of the season in last place in the A.L. East.  Toward the end of the first half, they were starting to turn things around before dropping two of three at Fenway Park to their rival the New York Yankees.  With the American League winning the All-Star Game, this means their World Series representative will have home field advantage.  Let’s hope that Holt’s contributions can help turn the Sox season around and maybe we can see game one of the World Series being played at Fenway.

Brock Holt Named Red Sox Lone All-Star

While the Boston Red Sox have not looked like a great team during the first part of this season, at least they can say they have one great player.  On Sunday afternoon, the Sox outfielder Brock Holt was named the team’s only representative for the 2015 All-Star Game.

Holt has been a great story throughout his career, which started with the Pittsburgh Brock HoltPirates.  He was drafted in the ninth round in the 2009 MLB Draft by Pittsburgh, and now is showing that he deserved to be a much earlier pick.

After a few years in the minors, Holt was called up to the big league’s in 2012.  Though he only played in 24 games that season for the Pirates, he was impressive at the plate, batting .292 in his short time with the team.  The following season, he came to the Red Sox, but not much was expected of the young outfielder.

During the Sox 2013 World Series Championship season, Holt only appeared in 26 games.  The following season, he was not even seen on the Sox opening day roster.  But in a short time, Holt has proven that he is a great all-around player.

When a few players for the Sox got injured, Holt got the call and took full advantage of his opportunity showing that he has a lot to give to the team.  He ended up playing 106 games last season, and while doing so played every position except pitcher and Catcher.  Since coming to the Sox, his batting average as well as games played has gone up every season, and this year he is batting .295 with 15 doubles and 21 RBI, and also hit for the only cycle in the Major League’s this year.

This will be Holt’s first time being selected to the All-Star team.  The game will be played this year at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.  As the only Red Sox representative, this will give Sox fans more incentive to watch the game, and maybe even give more hope to a season that is actually starting to have some promise in Boston.