Writer Names Red Sox Star As Boston’s Best MLB Award Candidate In 2021

What's the next step for Boston's two-time All-Star?

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Will 2021 be the year Xander Bogaerts confirms himself as a superstar?

MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince on Tuesday named the Boston Red Sox shortstop as the team’s most-likely MVP award winner in the 2021 season. Castrovince swings for the fences by asserting Bogaerts’ potential American League MVP candidacy will be stronger than that of Rafael Devers as well as Bobby Dalbec’s possible chase for Rookie of the Year.

“A shortstop with a .300/.372/.535 slash over the past three seasons is pretty darned valuable,” Castrovince wrote. “Bogaerts was a fifth-place MVP finisher in the last full season, so there?s no reason to think he can?t finish similarly strong. But teammate Rafael Devers is equally capable of an MVP-type season, and first baseman Bobby Dalbec could be a Rookie of the Year candidate.”

Shoulder soreness delayed Bogaerts first spring training appearances this year, but he has returned to the field and plans to be ready for Boston’s April 1 Opening Day matchup against the Baltimore Orioles.

Bogaerts, 27, already has proven himself as an MLB star, but his challenge in 2021 will be to lead the Red Sox on the field in their effort to and potentially compete for a playoff spot. Should he produce another banner year, and Boston surpasses expectations he might have competition for the claim of most likely Red Sox award winner and that only will be good for Boston’s collective outlook.

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