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Wrapping up the Superlatives

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Our final look at what could happen before things actually start to happen.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

All week here at Over the Monster, we’ve been having you guys help us preview the season by voting for a few superlatives that cover just about every area of the roster. That’s right, I’ve been putting you to work and I don’t even feel bad. We as a staff have made our picks, too, and we’ll go through the results below. I’ll also provide a short explanation for my picks. As a reminder, we voted for Team MVP, Best Pitcher, Defensive Wizard, Biggest Surprise, Biggest Disappointment and Unsung Hero. Here are the results.

Team MVP

MVP

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Mookie Betts
Bryan Mookie Betts
Jake K Mookie Betts
Jake D J.D. Martinez
Michelle Mookie Betts
Mike C Mookie Betts
Mike W Mookie Betts
Community Mookie Betts (52%)

No surprises here, as Mookie Betts almost had a clean sweep of the category. Jake Devereaux was the only one to give his nod to someone else, choosing J.D. Martinez. Betts also ran away with the community vote, taking 52% of the votes. Martinez was next closest with 16%. I also picked Betts because, well, he’s easily the most talented player on the team. It’s not that complicated.

Best Pitcher

Best Pitcher

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Chris Sale
Bryan Chris Sale
Jake K Chris Sale
Jake D Chris Sale
Michelle Chris Sale
Mike C Chris Sale
Mike W Chris Sale
Community Chris Sale (59%)

We actually do have a clean sweep this time around, with the Red Sox ace getting an easy win to take this one. I was actually a little surprised by Chris Sale’s pure domination here, though I suppose I shouldn’t be since I chose him as well. There’s no doubt he’s the best pitcher on the team, and even with the potential issues in his shoulder and just general ability to last deep into the year he’s the safest bet to have the best year. More surprisingly to me was that Nathan Eovaldi was second in the community vote, taking 17% of the votes. That’s almost double David Price’s total.

Defensive Wizard

Defensize Wizard

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Mookie Betts
Bryan Jackie Bradley Jr.
Jake K Mookie Betts
Jake D Mookie Betts
Michelle Jackie Bradley Jr.
Mike C Xander Bogaerts
Mike W Jackie Bradley Jr.
Community Jackie Bradley Jr. (69%)

This one was really surprising to me. Jackie Bradley Jr. got the majority of the votes on the staff and then he totally ran away with the community vote. I guess I’m not super surprised he won here, though he wasn’t pick. Bradley is as flashy as they come and is obviously outstanding. He also plays a premium, up-the-middle position and a hard one at that given Fenway’s dimensions. All of that being said, I still pick Betts. It feels really weird to say a right fielder is better than a center fielder, but watching them play I think it’s true in this case.

Biggest Surprise

Biggest Surprise

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Eduardo Núñez
Bryan Dustin Pedroia
Jake K Rafael Devers
Jake D Jackie Bradley Jr.
Michelle Eduardo Rodriguez
Mike C Eduardo Rodriguez
Mike W Blake Swihart
Community Blake Swihart (30%)

The first three categories were close to unanimous, but the final three should be more of a good mix. We saw it here with the biggest surprise vote, as the top vote-getter was still 30 percent. Blake Swihart won the community vote, which I’m not too shocked by as I’ve long been lower on the backstop than most of the readers here at the site. I went with Eduardo Núñez, who seems to be totally written off. Maybe that knee injury from 2017 totally ruined his career and he’s just done, but I’m willing to take a chance on him. He’s not a star, but I see Núñez being a positive contributor off the bench. That seems to be more than most are expecting.

Biggest Disappointment

Biggest Disappointment

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bryan Bullpen
Jake K Dave Dombrowski
Jake D First Base Platoon
Michelle Catcher Tandem
Mike C Chris Sale
Mike W Rick Porcello
Community First Base Platoon (18%)

This one was extremely close, with the community vote being separated by just 26 votes out of 724 total. The first base platoon won this one, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I’m very high on the first base tandem of Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce, which I suppose is setting myself up for a disappointment. Personally, I went with Jackie Bradley Jr. It’s not that I think the center fielder is going to see his production crater or anything like that. Instead, it just feels as though he’s a very popular breakout pick, and while I wouldn’t be totally surprised by that or anything I think it’s more likely he’s the same guy he has been.

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero

Picker Player
Picker Player
Matt Steve Pearce
Bryan David Price
Jake D Rick Porcello
Michelle Andrew Benintendi
Mike C Jackie Bradley Jr.
Mike W Jackie Bradley Jr.
Community Jackie Bradley Jr. (23%)

This was probably the hardest to pick, as everyone sort of has different criteria. Plus, ya know, you’re picking someone who is going to be overshadowed, and that’s not easy to predict. I went with Pearce, which may seem counterintuitive at first. He won the World Series MVP last year, so it could be hard for him to go unnoticed. My logic is just that he’s a platoon player, and so if you’re not on the field every day you generally get overlooked. Jackie Bradley Jr. got the community vote here, which makes sense given that defense is generally overlooked (except for the top plays) and he plays in an outfield just loaded with talent. It’s easy to get lost there.