BOSTON -- Voting for the inaugural All-MLB team launched on Monday, and the Red Sox have a strong chance to be represented at multiple positions.
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team began Monday and runs through 5 pm ET on Dec. 3, with 50 percent of the vote coming from fans and 50 percent coming from a panel of experts.
You can vote right here, and may do so once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends next Tuesday. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There will be a first team and second team All-MLB, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.
Though the Red Sox didn’t live up to expectations from a team standpoint, they had a collection of individuals who sparkled.
After a sub-par start, five-tool star Betts took off at the beginning of July and never stopped. He led the Majors with 135 runs while adding 40 doubles, five triples, 29 homers and 80 RBIs. All that, while winning a fourth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his excellence in right field.
“I showed I could bounce back,” said Betts. “It’s a long season and I was able to turn it around and do a little better to help the team. Obviously it wasn’t what last year was, but that would be kind of hard to repeat.”
Then there was Bogaerts, who started the season by signing a six-year contract extension and spent the entire year proving he was worth it. The shortstop was Boston’s most consistent player, turning in a career-best season which included a line of .309/.384/.555 to go along with 110 runs, 52 doubles, 33 homers and 117 RBIs.
“I was just trying to be consistent,” said Bogaerts. “I just showed up every day to be consistent and wanted to someone the team could count on.”
As for Devers, he was not just the top breakout player for the Red Sox, but one of the biggest in MLB.
The 22-year-old third baseman was the master of the hard-hit batted ball (balls in play with an exit velocity of 95-mph or more) with 252 of them -- the most in the Majors. The left-handed-hitting third baseman hit .311 with 129 runs, 201 hits, 54 doubles, 32 homers and 115 RBIs.
“Overall, offensively, I feel like I’m proud of everything I’ve been able to do,” said Devers. “I give a lot of credit to Xander, who has helped me a lot with my preparation and just everything he’s been able to help me with. Just, offensively, I had a really good season and I think I was able to have an overall season that I’m really proud of.”
Martinez was again one of the top overall hitters in the game, combining average (.304) with production (36 homers, 105 RBIs, .557 slugging percentage with the ability to get on base (.383). The good news for Red Sox fans is that the slugger chose not to opt out of his contract earlier this month, meaning Boston can have him in the middle of the lineup for at least one more season.
Meanwhile, Devers wasn’t the only Sox player who broke out with his bat in ’19. Vázquez did the same. He improved his OPS from .540 in ‘18 to .798 this past season while compiling 23 homers and 72 RBIs. He was also a weapon behind the plate, ranking sixth in the Majors by throwing out 22 runners whole attempting to steal.
The Red Sox didn’t get what they wanted from the pitching department in 2019, but two arms stood out.
The first was Rodriguez, who went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and provided the durability (203 1/3 innings) the Sox didn’t get from anyone else in the rotation.
“It was a very important step for me, because for the first time I was able to pitch an entire season,” Rodriguez said. “That was my goal when the season started, [to make] 30 starts and throw more than 200 innings, and I was able to do it. That’s what I’m most proud of.”
Due to the overall consistency of the bullpen – particularly in the first half of the season – the stellar season by Workman was overshadowed.
The righty emerged into the closer by July, and had a shutdown season, going 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA. He had 104 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings.
“It’s been a good year for me, personally, and something I’m going to continue to try to build off of this offseason,” said Workman. “I felt like I’ve been a lot more consistent this year. I got myself in a spot where I feel consistent every day and it’s letting me repeat mechanics and puts me in a better spot to execute pitches.”