It’s been a big weekend for the Red Sox, who not only swept the Yankees for the second time this season, but also because they took first place in the division while knocking New York down to fourth in the AL East. And while the Red Sox were pulling all of that off, it was easy to miss a few things from the last few days. Consider this our chance to catch up on a few things we’ve missed from the last few days, including the results from last week’s SB Nation Reacts poll.
Red Sox have four All-Star Starter Finalists
Apparently there are different phases of All-Star voting? I’m not sure if this is how it’s always been and I just forgot after there was no game last year or if this is a new thing, but either way it’s the way it is. And the first phase of voting completed last week, with the finalists for each position being announced on Sunday. The voting among the finalists for the second and final phase of voting will run through Thursday.
And as one would expect as the Red Sox have been hanging out at or near the top of the American League all season so far, they have a handful of representatives. J.D. Martinez has an uphill battle for getting the DH nod, as he is battling against Shohei Ohtani, who is a shoo-in if we’re being honest. Yordan Alvarez is the other finalist. The Red Sox also have a decent shot at having the entire starting left side of the infield, with both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers being named finalists. The former is up against Carlos Correa and Bo Bichette, while the latter deals with Alex Bregman and Yoán Moncada. Finally, Alex Verdugo is among the nine finalists in the outfield, joining Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Byron Buxton, Michael Brantley, Adolis García, Cedric Mullins, and Randal Grichuk.
All four of these guys should have a solid chance at making the game, though the best chances certainly lie with Bogaerts and Devers. Both players got the most votes at their respective positions, though we should note that vote totals reset for this second phase. Martinez was second behind Ohtani, who as we mentioned is the runaway favorite there. Verdugo came in at six, though both Trout and Buxton were in the top three and both are currently injured, so Verdugo may be able to back his way in. The starters will be revealed at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN.
Baseball America’s new Mock Draft
The draft continues to quickly approach, with the College World Series coming to a conclusion later this week. That final series will pit Vanderbilt against Mississippi State, with Red Sox fans surely keeping a close eye on this one. They have been linked to Vandy ace Jack Leiter for a few weeks now, and that continued late last week. Baseball America released their latest mock draft on Friday, and they did indeed have Leiter going to the Red Sox with the fourth overall selection.
As I mentioned, this is not a new connection and FanGraphs has even gone so far as to say that both sides are actively trying to make this happen. The issue is that this can be easier said than done, especially for Leiter. He was the presumed number one overall pick just a couple months ago, and after a rough patch he has been on fire to close out the season, with 36 strikeouts and six walks over his last 21 innings. BA indicates that the Red Sox wouldn’t let him fall past them, but he could go earlier. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on who they could target if Leiter were not available, with high school shortstop Jordan Lawlar and Louisville catcher Henry Davis getting mentions.
Chris Sale’s rehab continues
Not too much to report here, but it is worth noting that Chris Sale is continuing to progress, having faced some batters over the weekend. The Red Sox will look for another bullpen against live batters from the staff ace before making a determination on whether or not he’s ready for a rehab assignment. The assignment will not be a short one and we’re still likely looking at early August as the likely timeframe. It is nice to see him taking steps in the right direction, though. It’s also worth noting Alex Cora is not planning on using him out of the bullpen, as has been speculated at times.
SB Nation Reacts
These results are a little bit old, so apologies on that one, but these are the results from polls that went out on June 23. We have the latest Red Sox confidence poll as well as a look at some baseball family dynasties.
We are starting to see a bit of a spike here from Red Sox fans, and that presumably will continue after this past weekend as well. But in this latest polling, Red Sox fans’ confidence stands at 74 percent, bringing them back up after a dip the week before. That 74 percent put them 10th in all of baseball, one step behind the Rays and one ahead of the Orioles, whose standing continues to blow my mind.
This seems like one of the easiest questions we’ve had here. There’s a good argument to be had about Tatís Jr. versus Vlad Jr., but when you add the dads into the mix it becomes no contest. It’s the Guerreros, and it’s pretty wild they didn’t get 100 percent of the votes.
This seems equally easy as the other question, and in a way the inverse of the spirit of the question. Again, I think it’s fair to put Tatís and Guerrero on a similar tier of player, but then you have to factor in their fathers. Tatís Sr. was not a bad player, but he was not a Hall of Famer, which is what Vlad Jr. has to contend with. It’s no contest, really, and I’d probably say Guerrero shouldn’t even be as high as he is. It’s just a high bar he has to clear in comparison to the others.