Unfortunately for the Red Sox, their best players are each in quite a competitive field when vying for a spot. Despite this, a few players should make a team. The most likely scenario will have one player make the first team, and two more make the second team.
All-MLB First Team
At first it sounds shocking, but when all things are considered it makes sense that only one player on the Red Sox makes the first team. In most of their positions, Boston had a player in the top three at each position. But that is not good enough for a spot on either team, meaning stars like Vazquez, Betts, and Devers just miss out on the list. But there does happen to be one player who stands above his competition.
As the only Boston player I am projecting to make the first team, Xander had himself the best season in his young career. He was named an All-Star for the second time, a silver slugger for the third time, and even came in fifth for AL MVP voting. He received the most MVP votes from the Red Sox, with three of his teammates also making it into the top 25.
Bogaerts’s .309 batting average ranked as 7th in the AL, while at the same time ranking 8th in slugging percentage with .555%. His 117 RBI’s was second and he hit a career-high in home runs with 33 (ten more than his previous high). He was also stellar on the defensive end, as he was fourth in virtually every defensive category among shortstops in the AL.
Among the other shortstops nominated, Bogaerts is second in batting average and third in home runs. He is the best player available when considering both statistics at the same time, as the other players tend to be only good at one of those categories. His RBI and OPS numbers are first, cementing his claim for a spot.
All-MLB Second Team
It is incredibly difficult to get onto either of the teams, but the Red Sox should have an additional two players on the second team. The two teammates both were very close to making the first team, but players like Nelson Cruz came out of nowhere with either resurgent or career years.
Since coming to Boston, J.D. has taken his already stellar play to another level. He was selected as an All-Star for the second time in a row, the third time in his career. Like Xander, he was in the MVP conversation but not considered as a major contender after receiving a single vote point.
Martinez fell off slightly from last year, but his hitting ability still lived up to his large salary. J.D.’s .304 batting average was 9th in the league with the 7th best slugging percentage. While he had 105 RBI’s, less than Bogaerts’s total, he made up for it with 36 homers, which placed 7th in the AL. He also happened to be intentionally walked nine times, a testament to his hitting ability.
Some could make the case that Martinez deserves the first team, and it definitely is a close battle with Nelson Cruz. Cruz had a better batting average, more home runs, RBI’s, and OPS. Cruz, the fifth oldest player in the league, did not continue his play into the playoffs potentially due to fatigue. But at least he contributed to a playoff contender, as it is well known the Sox missed the postseason. But Martinez’s spot on the second team is still well deserved.
Workman’s first stint in the majors was quite disappointing, as he did not impress in both 2014 and 2015 as a starter or reliever. But after some time in the minors, he returned for the 2017 season purely as a reliever. He displayed promise as a solid reliever, and last year finally took the step into stardom at age 30.
Brandon allowed only a 1.88 ERA despite playing 73 games, fourth-most among relievers in the AL. And he was able to accumulate ten wins with only one loss. While it is only one season, his ERA total is better than two out of three seasons Kimbrel (Boston’s former star closer) played as a member of the Red Sox. Keep in mind, all three years Craig was named an All-Star.
The reason why he is not on the first team is more because of the makeup of the teams in general. For some reason, only two relievers can make each team despite the fact that the majority of Major League rosters are made up of relievers. This is less than the number of outfielders allowed (three) and starting pitchers (five). The most likely first-team relievers are Kirby Yates and Liam Hendriks, with Ken Giles most likely coming before Brandon as well.