2021 Red Sox: The Case for the All-Stars

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The 2021 Red Sox are kind of good at baseball, and if you’ve been reading along all season, you kind of already knew that. No need to prove just how good they are, we can literally let the potential All-Stars speak to the success. The 2021 Red Sox finalists for the All-Star game in Denver are J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Alex Verdugo. That’s just the position players and the votes are based solely on the fans. Let’s dig deeper and see just who on the team could be making the trek to Colorado on July 12th for the beginning of the festivities.

2021 Red Sox: The Starters

Xander Bogaerts

What can really be said about Xander Bogaerts that hasn’t already been said? Defense aside, Xander Bogaerts is the best shortstop in the American League. Bogaerts is slashing .328/.392/.537 with an OPS of .928, a wRC+ of 154, and an fWAR of 3.7. At the end of the day, Xander Bogaerts is good. In fact, he’s very good. And now it’s finally time for him to shine. Quite frankly the Boston Red Sox was never Mookie Betts’ team. Betts was easily the most complete player, but it was always Xander’s team. Now, with Mookie gone, it’s clear cut who this team belongs to.

After seeing Dustin Pedroia Day this past week at Fenway, and seeing the wonderment of spending an entire career in a Red Sox uniform, the Red Sox ownership group and Xander Bogaerts must get together and keep him in a Red Sox uniform for life. Both fans and Xander Bogaerts deserve to see it come to fruition.

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers is one of the most talented youngsters in the game of baseball and fans have been screaming since 2018 for a contract extension. Red Sox ownership traded Mookie Betts, and guess what? They really didn’t miss a single beat. The 2021 Red Sox and the 2021 Dodgers have the same 47-31 record on June 28th. It is almost like Chaim Bloom knew what he was doing. Losing Bogaerts and Devers, now that would be a real massive blunder from ownership. The Red Sox left side of the infield is elite, and arguably the best in baseball.

Devers’ slash line for 2021 is .283/.349/.577, with an OPS of .926, a wRC+ of 144, and a 2.9 fWAR. He’s also mashed 19 home runs and is only behind Guerrero Jr., with 64 RBI. Maybe the most intriguing aspect of Rafael Devers’ 2021 game is that he’s at a 0.6 defensive WAR. Rafael Devers is maturing before our very eyes, and like Bogaerts, should remain with the Boston Red Sox for the foreseeable future.

2021 Red Sox: The Reserves

J.D. Martinez

J.D. Martinez’s 2020 was horrific, to say the least. Martinez slashed .213/.291/.389, a 77 wRC+ and a -1.0 fWAR in 54 games. It was all kinds of bad. Now, in 2021, he’s behind on Ohtani for the DH spot on the All-Star Game roster. So far, in 72 games, Martinez is back to his old self, hitting .300/.361/.541, with a 141 wRC+ and a 2.0 fWAR. Safe to say J.D. is back and deserves a spot on the All-Star roster.

Alex Verdugo

Many fans will never forget Mookie Betts, and nor should they. An MVP and a World Series Ring will forever be linked to Betts and Boston, but Mookie’s no longer here, instead, Red Sox fans get to enjoy the ball of energy that is Alexander Brady Verdugo. Verdugo has put up nothing up respectable numbers since the trade, and 2021 is no different. On the season, Verdugo is hitting, .276/.341/.436 with a 110 wRC+, nine home runs, and an fWAR of 1.2. Is Alex Verdugo ever going to be Mookie Betts? Probably not. Is it out of the realm possibility that he outplays Betts over the next decade? Also, probably not. The Red Sox received three players for Mookie Betts, and one of them could very well be on his way to Colorado in a few weeks.

2021 Red Sox: The Pitchers

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes just hasn’t been good in 2021, in fact, he’s been a top-three reliever in baseball. Barnes has 16 saves, a 1.83 xERA, 1.83 FIP, 0.88 WHIP, and a 1.5 fWAR. It would be quite shocking if Matt Barnes isn’t in Colorado for the All-Star Game.

Nate Eovaldi

Nate Eovaldi isn’t an ace, but with Chris Sale on the shelf till most likely after the All-Star Break, Nate Eovaldi has found himself the ace of the 2021 Red Sox pitching staff. What has Eovaldi done? Well, he’s produced. Eovaldi has a 3.67 ERA, 3.61 xERA, 2.63 FIP and a 2.8 fWAR. Eovaldi has been one of the better pitchers in the AL in 2021 and deserves a spot on the All-Star Roster.

2021 Red Sox: The Maybes

Adam Ottavino

The next two guys listed as potential All-Stars are both massive fleece jobs that Chaim Bloom did to the Yankees and Brian Cashman. Brian Cashman traded Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox, as a way to stay under the luxury tax, and honestly because he didn’t think the Red Sox would be a threat to the New York Yankees. Well, guess what Cashman, the Red Sox are better than anyone would give them credit for, and Adam Ottavino has been instrumental in helping the 2021 Red Sox sweep the New York Yankees twice so far this season. Ottavino has come up in a major way in big spots throughout the season and has five saves. His season numbers do not indicate just how important he’s been as of late for the 2021 Red Sox. Just peep these numbers below.

Adam Ottavino has been a massive value to the 2021 Red Sox. And while he might not make the All-Star Game Roster, he should be considered.

Garrett Whitlock

Fleece job number two by Chaim Bloom is Garrett Whitlock. Cashman decided to not protect Whitlock, by putting him on the Yankees 40-man roster and lost him to the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft, and boy, oh boy has Whitlock become a weapon for the 2021 Red Sox. Whitlock has amassed a single save, a 1.42 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 9.47 K/9 and he’s doing this all having never pitched above Double-A ball. And not to mention he’s shoved against the Yankees, which is an added bonus for Red Sox fans, and I’m sure Whitlock himself.

Hunter Renfroe

Hunter Renfroe did not have a good month in April. In fact, he looked like the 2020 version of Hunter Renfroe that the Rays gave up on. Since April, Renfroe has been on a torrid pace. In May, Renfroe hit .330, with six home runs, eight doubles, and 15 RBIs. He was good, to say the least. Renfroe hasn’t stopped hitting in June and has settled beautifully into the six-hole in the lineup.

As for his defense, well, just take a look…

The guarantees to be in Colorado come next month are pretty much Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Matt Barnes. As for the rest of the Red Sox, time will tell. No matter who makes the All-Star Game, Red Sox fans have a very good baseball team to root for, and after the debacle that was 2020, a competitive baseball team sure feels nice.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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