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Wrapping up our superlatives vote

How did everyone see the season going?

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

For the past few days we have been running polls for readers here at OTM to try and figure out who people believe will be the ultimate winner of a variety of superlatives made up by yours truly. There was Team MVP, Best Pitcher, Defensive Wizard, Biggest Surprise, Biggest Disappointment and Unsung Hero. All of those polls closed just after midnight Eastern on Friday. In addition to the community polls, I also asked everyone on staff to give an answer so we could see where there was a semblance of agreement. Let’s go over the results, shall we?

Team MVP

Community: Xander Bogaerts (48%)

Matt, Bryan, Jake K, Mike C, Shelly: Xander Bogaerts

Jake D, Mike W: J.D. Martinez

Keaton, Brady: Rafael Devers

It wasn’t really unanimous, but the most popular choice both on staff and among community members was Xander Bogaerts. This isn’t a huge surprise, and since he was my selection as well it is correct. More seriously, this really was a three-man race, but at the end of the day it is hard to argue against picking the player who both plays the most valuable position and is coming off the best offensive season of the trio.

Best Pitcher

Community: Eduardo Rodriguez (39%)

Bryan, Jake K, Mike C, Mike W, Shelly: Nathan Eovaldi

Jake D, Brady: Brandon Workman

Matt, Phil: Matt Barnes

Keaton: Eduardo Rodriguez

I think if the community had a do over on this one it would probably go in a different direction. The poll for this one was posted Wednesday morning, and the vast majority of the votes came down before it was announced that Eduardo Rodriguez would be shut down after complications related to his bout with COVID-19. The team still thinks he’ll pitch this year, but in a shortened year this is probably enough to take him out of the running for this. Nathan Eovaldi was a close second in this vote with 32 percent.

Defensive Wizard

Community: Jackie Bradley Jr. (75%)

Matt, Bryan, Jake K, Mike C, Mike W, Phil, Shelly, Keaton, Brady: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jake D: Alex Verdugo

Wyd Jake?

Biggest Surprise

Community: Nathan Eovaldi (17%)

Mike C, Brady: Andrew Benintendi

Matt: Austin Brice

Bryan: Bobby Dalbec

Jake K: Alex Verdugo

Jake D: Nathan Eovaldi

Mike W: Martín Pérez

Phil: José Peraza

Shelly: Colten Brewer

Keaton: Michael Chavis

This one was clearly a lot more spread out, and the community vote came right down to the wire. Nathan Eovaldi and José Peraza were separated by just a single vote. My initial reaction was that Eovaldi’s expectations are too high for him to be a real surprise, but I quickly came down from that pedestal. If Eovaldi is league-average or just merely solid, obviously that wouldn’t qualify. But if you think, of I don’t know, he’s going to be a Cy Young candidate, then yes he’d be a surprise.

Biggest Disappointment

Community: Nathan Eovaldi (14%)

Mike W, Phil, Shelly: Brandon Workman

Matt: J.D. Martinez

Bryan: Ryan Brasier

Jake K: Rafael Devers

Jake D: Matt Barnes

Mike C: Eduardo Rodriguez

Keaton Christian Vázquez

Brady: Martín Pérez

This is kind of awesome. The player who was voted to be the most likely to be a pleasant surprise in 2020 was also voted to be the player who will most disappoint. If that doesn’t paint the picture of a wide range of possible outcomes, I don’t know what does. This was also a contest that came down to just a single vote difference, too, with Alex Verdugo just barely missing out on the community vote. I didn’t ask for anyone to explain their picks on staff, but I’ll just say the only reason I picked Martinez is because the back spasms scare me. If he’s totally healthy I think he’ll rake, because that’s what he does.

Unsung Hero

Community: Darwinzon Hernandez (18%)

Jake K, Keaton: Darwinzon Hernandez

Matt, Shelly: Marcus Walden

Bryan: Christian Vázquez

Jake D: Martín Pérez

Mike C: José Peraza

Mike W: Mitch Moreland

Phil: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Brady: Alex Verdugo

I said in the write up for this poll, but this is always my favorite category. There are so many different ways to think about what an unsung hero is that it’s bound to lead to disagreements. I think some may be wary of the idea of Hernandez qualifying because A) he should be a late-inning arm and B) his stuff immediately stands out in way that makes it hard to be unsung. I’ll defend the pick, though, with the argument that all relievers tend to be unsung besides elite closers. Still, Shelly and I were correct in this one.